Round 3 Notes: Legends Reno-Tahoe Open

August 08, 2009
Mark Williams, PGA TOUR Staff

John Rollins enters the final round with a four-stroke advantage over Ryan Palmer. This season, 19 of the 32 third-round leaders have gone on to win. This includes the five round 50th Bob Hope Chrysler Classic and the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, which was rain-shortened to 54 holes.

• In his 253rd PGA TOUR start, this marks the fifth time Rollins has held a 54-hole lead/co-lead. Most recently it occurred at the 2009 Buick Invitational, where he lost to Nick Watney. Rollins has never gone on to win after holding the third-round lead.

• The winner of this event, if he is not already qualified, automatically becomes eligible for next week's PGA Championship at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, MN. A year ago, Legends Reno-Tahoe champion Parker McLachlin earned his invite to Oakland Hills Country Club for the PGA Championship. This year, Reno leader Rollins is already in the PGA field, as is Palmer, who is in second. But Joe Ogilvie (third), Martin Laird (fourth) and Robert Garrigus (tied for sixth) are not.

Marc Leishman made only the second eagle in tournament history at the par-4 sixth hole. In the third round, he holed out his shot from the fairway from 144 yards. The other eagle on No. 6 came from Cameron Beckman in 2001. In the first round this year, Mark Brooks made an eagle at the par-4 first hole, holing out from 126 yards, and Laird added a hole-out eagle on the par-4 18th hole, from 88 yards. That was part of a birdie-birdie-birdie-eagle finish for Laird to give him a 6-under 66 and fourth-place going into Sunday.

Kevin Na, ranked 22nd in the FedExCup, is shooting for his eighth top-10 of the 2009 season. He is tied for ninth going into Sunday's final round. Besides his FedExCup ranking, Na is 20th on the money list and 19th in the U.S. Presidents Cup standings.

• Palmer (second), Ogilvie (third), Rocco Mediate (fifth), Garrigus (tied for sixth) and Billy Mayfair (tied for ninth) have not had a top-10 this season.

• Mayfair easily broke his career-best round at Montreux Golf and Country Club with his third-round, 8-under 64, the low round of the day. Prior to Saturday, Mayfair's low 18-hole score at the Legends Reno-Tahoe Open was 69, a score he shot three times (2000, 2001 and 2003). Mayfair's best finish in Reno was a tie for 21st in 2003.

• Henry also had his career-low round in Reno, shooting a 65. Henry had a unique round, making seven birdies and an eagle and no bogeys but a double bogey, on the par-4 14th. Prior to his third-round 65, Henry shot 66s in 2003 and 2005. His best finishes at the Legends Reno-Tahoe Open were a tie for third in 2002 and a tie for fourth in 2005.

Michael Allen was the only player age 50 and older in the field to make the cut. The former University of Nevada player is tied for 51st through three rounds. His best finishes in the town where he attended college are a pair of ties for ninth, in 2004 and 2007.

Rich Barcelo had the lone bogey-free round on Thursday, followed by eight players who didn't have a blemish on the scorecard in the second round. In Saturday's third round, Mayfair, Ogilvie and Palmer were the only players without a bogey on their cards. Of that group, Mayfair has the longest bogey-free streak. He has played his last 26 holes at Montreux at par or better (10 birdies, 16 pars).

Heath Slocum opened his round with five bogeys in his first seven holes and added a double bogey on the eighth. He then birdied the ninth, 10th and 11th, added birdies on Nos. 13 and 15 and parred in to shoot a 42-32--74.

• This week's Kodak Challenge hole is the par-3 16th. The Kodak Challenge is a year-long event where one hole at selected tournaments is chosen and players who have played at least 18 of the 30 Kodak Challenge holes are eligible to win. Scores are tabulated based on the players' lowest scores relative to par on the hole for the week. The hole ranked as the most-difficult hole in the first round, and was the eighth-most difficult in Saturday's second round, playing to a stroke average of 2.973, the first time it has played under-par this week. There were 14 birdies at No. 16 Saturday. Players in the top 10 of the standings who are playing in the Legends Reno-Tahoe Open this week are (with their best score in parentheses) Nicholas Thompson (par), Dean Wilson (par), Chris DiMarco (par), Jason Gore (birdie) and Henry (birdie). As of Saturday night, with the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational hole factored in, Thompson is tied for third with Gore, Henry, Michael Letzig and Scott Verplank at 10-under in 19 holes played. Nathan Green and Kevin Streelman, at 11-under, are the overall leaders.

• Tournament leader Rollins continues his streak of under-par rounds at the Legends Reno-Tahoe Open. He fired a 5-under-under 67 Saturday, giving him seven consecutive sub-par rounds in the event. In his tie-for-second showing a year ago, Rollins shot rounds of 70-66-70-71. Prior to 2008, his last appearance in Reno was in 2004, when he shot a final-round 71. In 19 rounds, Rollins has been under par in 15 of them.

Greg Kraft had missed nine consecutive cuts this year until Friday when he made it to the weekend. Kraft made the most of his opportunity, opening his third round with five birdies in a row. He eventually shot a 4-under 68 and is tied for 18th

Year(s) Won Player Current Position
2002 Chris Riley T6
2004/05 Vaughn Taylor T24
2008 Parker McLachlin T24
2007 Steve Flesch T27
2003 Kirk Triplett T51

• Five previous Reno Legends-Tahoe Open winners made it to the weekend. Here is where they stand through 54 holes:

Player Position Score
Marc Leishman T14 68-68-73--209
James Nitties T18 69-70-71--210
Wil Collins T27 70-70-72--212
Troy Kelly T27 70-71-71--212
Matt Weibring T27 72-70-70--212
Troy Matteson T39 71-66-76--213
Chez Reavie T39 71-71-71--213
Charl Schwartzel T39 73-70-70--213
Matt Bettencourt T51 72-71-72--215
Francesco Molinari T51 73-71-71--215
Kris Blanks T58 71-69-76--216
Brian Vranesh T63 74-70-73--217
Aron Price T69 73-70-75--218
Derek Fathauer T72 75-69-75--219

• Here is the position of the 14 players who are making their Legends Reno-Tahoe Open debuts this week: