Rd. 3 Notes: High winds hit course, Utley's solid debut

March 18, 2012
John Reger, Special to PGATOUR.COM

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. -- Winds of more than 25 miles an hour plagued both golfers and spectators for most of the day. The par-4 430-yard No. 5 hole was the hardest on the course, but in the final round, it was especially brutal. The hole was the second hardest on the first two rounds, but in the final round it was the toughest, averaging 4.38 and yielding just two birdies.


----- The scoring average was the highest round in the history of the event. It was 73.09. The previous highest round average was 72.97 in the first round of 2000.

----- Brad Bryant had the lowest round of the day, a 5-under 66, and was rewarded by a jump on the leaderboard. Bryant began the day tied for 45th and at the end of the day was tied for 12th.

----- Stan Utley's first Champions Tour event was a success. The famed putting teacher, who works with several members of both the PGA TOUR and Champions Tour, had rounds of 72, 69, 69 and finished tied for 12th. His putting statistics? He finished tied for ninth in overall putting average. He had 27, 29 and 29 total putts. His last professional event was the Nationwide Tour's BMW Charity Pro-Am presented by Synnex Corporation in 2010. He missed the cut.


Fred Couples had a chance to get close to Roberts, but the 17th hole proved to be his undoing. Couples entered the hole two shots behind Roberts, but four-putted from 12-feet for a double bogey, missing two putts of 3-feet to save par and bogey.