Mathis maintains one-shot lead through 54 holesMay 17, 2008
Joe Chemycz, PGA TOUR Staff
GREENVILLE, S.C. -- David Mathis shot a third-round 69 in the BMW Charity Pro-Am Saturday and moved one step closer to his first career win. Mathis stands at 17-under 198 after 54 holes in the event that pairs Nationwide Tour pros with amateurs and celebrities in a better-ball format, one shot better than Matt Weibring, who held the 54-hole lead one week ago.
Inside the Numbers Mathis thru 54 Holes Category Total Rank Eagles 0 N/A Birdies 20 1 Pars 31 T45 Bogeys 3 T50 Double Bogeys 0 N/A Other 0 N/A Driving Accuracy 78.0% T11 Driving Distance 290.7 yds. 19 Greens in Regulation 88.9% T1 Putts per Round 29.0 T12 Putts per GIR 1.625 2 Sand Saves 80.0% 11
The tournament is spread out over three courses in the Greenville area, and Mathis completed his rotation at the host course, the Thornblade Club.
Weibring, who posted a final-round 75 at the Fort Smith Classic and tied for fifth last week, shot a 4-under 68 at Bright's Creek Club to finish at 16 under and get within one of Mathis, who began the day with a two-shot lead after opening with consecutive 65s.
Peter Tomasulo and Bill Lunde, playing at Carolina Country Club, ended the day at 13-under 202 and share third place, four behind the leader. Marc Leishman and rookie Brendon Todd also played at Carolina and are tied for fifth at 12 under.
D.J. Brigman fired a course-record, 9-under 63 at Bright's Creek, the low round of the week.
Hockey great Wayne Gretzky and his pro partner Chris Nallen continue to hold the lead in the team competition. The pair stands at 37 under par after a 12-under 60 at Carolina Country Club. They lead by three over pro Nick Malinowski and actor Jason Dohring, who shot a 61 at the Thornblade Club.
Colt Knost, comeback winner at Fort Smith last week, and his partner, musician Javier Colon, are in third place at 32 under following an 11-under 61 at Bright's Creek. Knost (69) missed the individual cut, his 217 total leaving him six shots shy of the cut.
"It could have been really good today," said Mathis after his round. "I hit some good putts, but they just didn't drop. Still, it's a fun spot to be in."
Mathis, a 34-year old from Raleigh, N.C., failed to capitalize on his outstanding iron play and needed 32 putts for the day.
"Tee to green I played pretty good. I hit a lot of nice shots," he said. "I guess I could stand to hole a few putts from the 10-to 12- to 15-foot range."
Mathis hit 15 greens in regulation on Saturday, fewer than he had in each of his first two rounds. Thus far, he's been accurate on 48 of 54 holes and leads the tournament in that category.
"I feel very confident with the motion I'm making," said Mathis, who is No. 44 on the money but with four consecutive top-25 finishes to his credit. "Every time I work with my instructor, he tells me 'don't worry, it' coming.' It's easier said than done if you miss a cut.
"I've made a few changes in the last four weeks about the way I go about playing the golf course and I think that's probably helped me some. I feel good about what I'm doing and just ready to rock and roll tomorrow."
Weibring has been steady all week, with only a pair of three-putt bogeys keeping him from perfection.
"I've hit it well all week," he said. "Today the wind was crazy and my caddie and I did a good job judging the wind. Seriously, you could play a hole downwind and the next hole might be going in the opposite direction and be downwind, too."
The former Georgia Tech standout has hit 46 of 54 greens but needed a pair of big putts late in the day to keep Mathis within hailing distance. Weibring rolled in a 25-footer for par at No. 16 after hitting his tee shot into a greenside bunker. On the par-4 18th, his second shot also found sand and he canned an 8-footer for par and kept the deficit to just one.
Third-Round Notes: Veteran Jay Haas, who is playing host to a couple players this week, including Matt Weibring, served as a marker for an amateur partner on Saturday at the Thornblade Club, where he is a member and has a home near the sixth tee. Haas' score did not count in any of the standings. ... A total of 60 players made the 54-hole cut, which came at 4-under-par 211. It is the lowest 54-hole cut in the four years the tournament has been held under its current format. The previous three years, the cut came at 2 under, 1 under and 1 under. Strangely, this is the third time in four years that exactly 60 players made the cut. ... Sunday's winner will take home a first-place check of $121,500 from the $675,000 purse. ... The top 14 amateur teams advanced to the final round Sunday, which came at 25 under par. No scorecard playoff was needed to determine the top 14 teams. The winning amateur receives a $10,000 contribution to his favorite and the low professional will collect $3,600. ... Sunday's tee times will be in foursomes off both the first and 10th tees. The first time will be at 8:30 a.m., leading to an expected finish time of 4:00 p.m. ET.