Consistent Kendall keeps his lead thanks to three late birdies

March 24, 2007
By John Bush PGA TOUR Staff

BROUSSARD, La. -- Skip Kendall fired a 5-under 66 for the third consecutive day Saturday to maintain his lead at the $500,000 Chitimacha Louisiana Open presented by Dynamic Industries.

Category Total Rank
Eagles 1 T1
Birdies 14 T11
Pars 38 T14
Bogeys 1 T80
Double Bogeys 0 N/A
Other 0 N/A
Driving Accuracy 84.6% 2
Driving Distance 286.3 yds. 65
Greens in Regulation 75.9% T8
Putts per Round 27.7 T10
Putts per GIR 1.707 21
Sand Saves 100.0% T1

Three birdies in the final five holes -- including a holed bunker shot from 40 feet on No. 14 -- propelled Kendall to 15-under-par 198. He will enter the final 18 holes with a three-stroke advantage over Jarrod Lyle and Tag Ridings.

"I struggled a little in the middle of the round but I played good down the stretch," said Kendall, who hit 12 of 13 fairways and 12 of 18 greens in regulation. "I made a few loose swings today unlike the first two days."

Kendall had his first setback of the week on the par-3 11th hole -- snapping a streak of 46 bogey-free holes -- but was otherwise flawless for the third day in a row.

Kendall, a 42-year-old native of Milwaukee, Wis., will enter Sunday's final round seeking his third career Nationwide Tour victory, to go with wins in 1994 at the Inland Empire Open and the Carolina Classic.

"I've won a couple of times out here but it has been a long time," said Kendall. "Hopefully tomorrow will be my day. I've got a lot of work to do. Guys are so good out here that if you play conservative you'll get passed up. So I've got to keep doing what I'm doing and hopefully things will work out."

Lyle, who has made four of five cuts this season on the PGA TOUR, moved into contention with a stellar 8-under 63 -- highlighted by a 20-foot birdie putt on the par-4 15th hole. Ridings was just one shot worse with a bogey-free 7-under 64.

Despite the excellent play by the trio of Kendall, Lyle and Ridings -- it was Lake Charles, La., resident Greg Sonnier who posted the round of the day. Playing via a sponsor's exemption, Sonnier fired a 9-under 62 to move into a tie at 10-under 203 with Paul Claxton (64).

"Today is my birthday, so I guess that is why things went my way," said Sonnier, who celebrated his 30th birthday. "I didn't really do anything different except the putts started falling."

Third-Round News & Notes: 1987 Masters champion Larry Mize moved to 6 under after a 1-under-par 70 on Saturday. He is currently tied for 24th place, nine shots behind Kendall ... The scoring average for the third round was 70.284, with the par-4 18th-hole ranking the toughest at 4.296. The par-5 first hole and the par-5 fifth hole ranked as the easiest with identical 4.556 averages ... 2001 Chitimacha Louisiana Open winner Paul Claxton moved within five shots of the lead with a 7-under 64 ... The third-round leader at the Chitimacha Louisiana Open has gone on to win five times in the 13 72-hole events in Lafayette, including R.W. Eaks in 1993, John Wilson in 1998, Matt Gogel in 1999, Brett Wetterich in 2003 and Ryan Hietala in 2005 ... Scott Sterling is the only player this season to carry the 54-hole lead on to victory, doing so at the Jacob's Creek Open Championship ... Sunday's winner will take home a first-place prize of $90,000 out of the $500,000 total purse.

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