November 16 2013
By Fred Albers, PGA TOUR.COM Correspondent
PLAYA DEL CARMEN, Mexico -- The destinies of Robert Karlsson and Kevin Stadler were intertwined long before they were paired together for the third round of the OHL Classic at Mayakoba.
Last Sunday, Karlsson left Sea Island, Ga., and The McGladrey Classic thinking he would not be playing golf this week. He needed a top-10 finish to get into the field at the OHL Classic and was in 11th place with just a few groups remaining on the course.
As he drove home, Karlsson listened to the broadcast on PGA TOUR Radio and it became clear what had to happen. If Stadler made par of better, Karlsson would finish no better than 11th place. Karlsson listened intently to the broadcast until hearing Stadler had hit the 18th green in regulation at which point Karlsson turned off the broadcast thinking his position was locked in at 11th.
What Karlsson did not know was Stadler would three-putt that 18th hole and instead of finishing 11th, Karlsson tied for 10th with Stadler earning an exemption into the OHL Classic.
Now the two of them will play the final 36 holes paired in the final group as destiny has seemingly dictated their fates remain intertwined.
UGA: Harris English is a devoted graduate of the University of Georgia. The Bulldogs football team had it’s annual grudge game with Auburn on Saturday that was played out as English began the third round tied for the lead at the OHL Classic. A thousand miles of separation and even a different country were not enough to deprive English of scoring updates throughout the afternoon. He was not deterred when told Georgia trailed 13-0 in the second quarter; in fact English predicted a Bulldogs comeback. He was correct. Georgia rallied in the fourth quarter to take the lead only to have Auburn score a 73-yard touchdown with 25 seconds remaining to beat the ‘Dawgs 43-38. English hopes tomorrow’s finish at the OHL Classic has a happier ending.
Putting: Spencer Levin knew he had left a lot of makeable birdie putts on the course. Some excellent iron play was not matched with excellent putting and Levin was visibly upset in the first and second rounds. Eventually the law of averages provided equality. If you hit enough 7-irons within 10 feet of the cup, the putts will eventually start falling. Despite his frustration, Levin kept hitting quality shots and gradually regained confidence in his stroke. He made six birdie putts on the first nine holes of the third round after only making a total of six birdies in the first 36 holes.
Options: Jeff Maggert has some options this coming year. He turns 50 in February and will be fully exempt on both the PGA TOUR and the Champions Tour. That’s a nice problem to have and Maggert says he intends to compete on both Tours but admits he is looking forward to Champions competition. Maggert has never been a long hitter -- he was 160th on the PGA TOUR in 2013, averaging 277 yards per drive -- but Maggert has also been a very straight driver. He lamented the soggy fairways this week at El Camaleon, which robbed Maggert of some extra yards of run out on his drives, but he also still found of a way to score. He’ll begin Sunday tied for 12th when the third round resumes.
Fred Albers is a course reporter for SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio. For more information on SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio, click here