College star Summerhays shares lead with Nallen at Ohio State

July 14, 2007
By John Bush PGA TOUR Staff

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Saturday was a day of survival during the third round of the inaugural Nationwide Children's Hospital Invitational, with Chris Nallen and Daniel Summerhays finally sharing the top spot at 4-under-par 209, two strokes in front of Chad Collins (70) and Richard Johnson (72).

Stat Summerhays Nallen
Eagles 0 0
Birdies 14 14
Pars 31 31
Bogeys 8 8
Double Bogeys 1 1
Other 0 0
Driving Accuracy 69.0% 59.5%
Driving Distance 296.3 yds. 303.7 yds.
Putts per Round 30.3 28.3
Putts per GIR 1.692 1.722
Greens in Regulation 72.2% 66.7%
Sand Saves 0.0% 80.0%

The par-71 Scarlet Course at Ohio State University continues to wreak havoc on the field this week. Wind gusts up to 30 mph didn't help the cause of the 68 professionals and two amateurs competing for their share of the $700,000 purse -- the third highest on the Nationwide Tour in 2007. Only 11 players broke par on Saturday, with the stroke average soaring to 73.100.

Nallen, Summerhays and Jason Allred (75) all held the outright lead at some point during the third round, but as quickly as they rose up the board, trouble was looming right around the corner.

Summerhays, a 23-year-old rising senior at Brigham Young University, birdied Nos. 2 and 4 to move to 7 under and extend his lead to two strokes at one point. But a bogey on the par-3 eighth hole and a double bogey on the par-4 10th hole dropped him a stroke behind Allred and Nallen at the time. Despite bogeys on Nos. 14 and 15, a birdie on the par-4 16th hole was enough to propel him back into a share of the lead at the end of the day.

"After the double bogey on No. 10, I was a little bit, not flustered, but just, it's like when you give them back on that course as tough as it is, it is tough to get them back," said Summerhays, vying to become the Tour's first-ever amateur winner. "But I said, you know what, I've hit almost every single shot solid, so why not keep making good, aggressive swings. It's hard to get frustrated and lose control, so I just regrouped and held it together."

Nallen, the winner of the 2004 Gila River Classic, temporarily took control of the tournament when he birdied the par-4 14th hole to jump to 6 under. His outright lead didn't last, however, as a double bogey on the following hole and a bogey on the par-4 16th hole dropped him into a share of the lead with Summerhays. A 7-iron to 15 feet and the ensuing birdie putt on the final hole was enough to secure his spot in the final group.

"It was a solid round," said Nallen. "Nos. 15 and 16 were tough. They were brutal. But I didn't really make any bad decisions. I just didn't execute shots the way I wanted to. You've got to think your way around this golf course. You've got to hit and produce shots, and it just brings out every part of your game. It's not just bomb it and see if you can make a putt."

Allred took his turn at the top of the pack when he birdied No. 12 to move to 6 under, but consecutive double bogeys on Nos. 13 and 14 led to his tumble down the standings. A bogey on the closing hole dropped him further down the board and into a tie with Rex Hospital Open winner Kyle Thompson (68), LaSalle Bank Open winner John Riegger (72), Tjaart van der Walt (69) and Brad Adamonis (72) at 1-under 212.

Speaking of Thompson, his second consecutive 68 was the round of the day -- and one of just six posted in the 60s. The former University of South Carolina Gamecock birdied the first four holes and by the end of the day had jumped 29 spots up the leaderboard into a tie for a prophetic fifth place.

"Starting off with four straight birdies is never a bad thing," said Thompson. "I started off rough with a 76, but I've bounced back nicely. Just like yesterday, I just wanted to go out there and post a good round to get into contention. I would have been ecstatic to shoot even-par today, so to get one more is really good. If this wind keeps up, I'd be really surprised if I'm not in the top five by the end of the day."

Third-Round News & Notes: Chris Nallen has held the 54-hole lead on one prior occasion on the Nationwide Tour, carrying that lead on to the winner's circle at the 2004 Gila River Classic. ... Summerhays is playing in just his second Tour event after missing the cut at the 2001 Utah EnergySolutions Championship. ... Along with Summerhays, Coastal Carolina's Dustin Johnson rounds out the amateurs who made the cut this week. He struggled to a 6-over 77 and is in 68th place. ... The 54-hole leader has gone on to win 10 of 17 tournaments this season, most recently Jason Day at last week's Legend Financial Group Classic. Speaking of Day, he shot an even-par 71 on Saturday and is currently in 17th place. ... For the second time in three days, there were no bogey-free rounds posted. Richard Johnson's 2-under 69 in the second round still stands as the week's only bogey-free round. ... Sunday's winner will take home $126,000 and move a step closer to securing his spot among The 25 and a coveted PGA TOUR card for 2008.