By Melanie Hauser, PGATOUR.COM
HUMBLE, Texas — The second round of the Shell Houston Open was completed Saturday morning and the third round has begun at Redstone Golf Club. Let us know what you think by leaving leaving your comments below.
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8:30 p.m. – Round 3 is in the books at Redstone, with Louis Oosthuizen riding a 31 on the back nine to a round of 66 and a two-shot lead at 17 under. Hunter Mahan is two shots back after shooting 65, while Carl Pettersson and Brian Davis are three back at 14 under. Defending champion Phil Mickelson managed just one birdie and nine pars over his last 10 holes and is six back going to Sunday.
7:30 p.m. -- There's now a three-way tie atop the leaderboard with Hunter Mahan, Carl Pettersson and Louis Oosthuizen tied at 15-under on the course. Brian Davis is a shot back at minus-14 with four holes to play.
6:55 p.m -- Ernie Els likes what he sees in his game. Likes the one bogey on the week, too. Just waiting for the putts to fall, that's all. "I'm playing good,'' he said. "I'm just not getting it in the hole fast enough.'' Els is 8-under and knows he has to go low to have a chance to win. "I needed to get to 10 or 11 under today to have a realistic chance,'' he said.
6:30 p.m. -- An omen? Ryan Palmer cracked his driver the Monday of the Arnold Palmer Invitational and spent the week looking for another one that felt right. He spent Sunday and Monday playing at Augusta with one he chose, then switched to a new one for the first round of the SHO. And another one for the second and third rounds. The last one is staying. After opening with a 71, he shot rounds of 68-66 to put himself into contention going into tomorrow's final round.
5:49 p.m. -- Ernie Els has only made one bogey this week, but nine birdies has him at 8-under and holding. If he doesn't close fast tomorrow and win, could Augusta National still hand him an exemption?
5:25 p.m. -- The last groups are still playing the front nine, but this 65th SHO is shaping up as quite a shootout with four players -- Hunter Mahan, Carl Pettersson, Brian Davis and James Driscoll -- tied for the lead at 12-under.
4:55 p.m. -- The latest player to make a move here at Redstone is J.B. Holmes, who is at 10-under. Holmes is working his way back after undergoing brain surgery last year. His best finish this year is a T8 at the Waste Management Phoenix Open.
4:24 p.m. -- Phil Mickelson is hanging in there, but his putter has cooled off. He missed a birdie attempt at the fourth from 32 inches.
3:50 p.m. -- Another player is taking "moving day" to heart. Hunter Mahan birdied two of his first four holes to move to 10-under, two shots behind leader Brian Davis. Mahan has had a hit-or-miss relationship with Redstone. He's finished in the top eight three of the last five years. He's missed the cut the other times.
3:20 p.m. -- Texan Ryan Palmer just ran off a string of four straight birdies to move into a tie for second. Palmer hit his approach at the 10th to 3 1/2 feet for the fourth birdie and his sixth birdie of the third round. Palmer is one of the players hoping to win and play his way into the Masters.
3:01 p.m. -- One of the game's biggest supporters and fastest players is on site at the SHO this afternoon. As is his custom, President George H.W. Bush -- better known as 41 -- has a little lunch out here, visits with the players and zips around the course for a bit to watch some golf. His driver is always Paul Marchand, the General Manager at Shadowhawk Golf Club and Fred Couples' long-time friend and instructor. Barbara Bush made the half-hour commute from the Tanglewood-area home, too.
2:36 p.m. -- Another compelling story just jumped onto the leader board. Vaughn Taylor, who lives in Augusta and played at Augusta State, is trying to play his way into the Masters. Again. Two years ago, Taylor made an 18-foot birdie on the final hole at the SHO to, ultimately, force a playoff with Anthony Kim, but lost the playoff and his chance to play in his second Masters. His birdie on the first hole put him a 9-under, three shots behind leader Jeff Maggert. He played in both the 2007 and 2008 Masters, finishing T10 in 2007.
1:52 p.m. -- From the behind-the-scenes files: SHO tournament director Steve Timms couldn't call a meeting between the end of the second round and start of the third, but he could tweet out a big thanks to his grounds crew on an impressive and fast course spiff-up for the third round: @TimmsSteve Unbelievable job by @RedstoneSuper and crew. Freshly mown golf course for rd. 3 #unprecedented #much appreciated.
1:12 p.m. -- After finishing off a second-round 66 Saturday morning, Jeff Maggert took the second-round lead at 12-under 132. He'll tee off in the third round at 2:51 p.m. with Brian Davis and Louis Oosthuizen.