Lunde and Tidland share third-round lead in Boise

September 13, 2008
Joe Chemycz, PGA TOUR Staff

BOISE, Idaho -- Bill Lunde continues to defy the odds at the Albertsons Boise Open. The 32-year-old keeps missing fairway after fairway at the Hillcrest Country Club, but nonetheless owns a share of the 54-hole lead.

Tidland vs. Lunde
Thru 54 Holes in Boise
Category Tidland Lunde
Eagles 0 0
Birdies 17 16
Pars 33 35
Bogeys 4 3
Driving Accuracy 69.0% 40.5%
Driving Distance 308.3 yds. 304.0 yds.
Greens in Regulation 77.8% 75.9%
Putts per Round 28.0 27.3
Sand Saves 100% 100%

Lunde, the second-round leader, posted a 2-under 69 Saturday to finish at 13-under 200 and tied with Chris Tidland, who joined the hunt with a 5-under 66.

The two are two shots in front of first-round leader Michael Putnam (66), Hunter Haas (66), Wade Ormsby (68) and Spencer Levin (69). Matt Bettencourt (66) and Tag Ridings (70) are three shots back heading into Sunday's final round.

"A lot of these tee shots I'm hitting are pretty good, I'm just missing them by a little bit," said Lunde, who is tied for last in the field, hitting it in the short grass only 17 times in 42 attempts. "It's not like I'm hitting awful tee shots. Part of it is that I've been fortunate to get some lies that I can play with. It's just staying patient and try to take what the golf course gives me."

So far, it's been giving him nothing but positive vibes. Despite hitting only five of 14 fairways in round three, Lunde keeps finding ways to get the ball on the green and make some putts. He is tied for seventh in both greens in regulation and putting.

"It hasn't been that I've had 50 birdie opportunities and I've made half of them," said Lunde. "The ones I've been able to make are the good 10- to 15-footers that I've had a chance to make."

A birdie at No. 11 moved Lunde to 14 under and increased his lead to three strokes. An errant tee shot, a three-putt and another wayward tee shot resulted in back-to-back bogeys and let much of the field hang close. Lunde was staring at a third consecutive bogey when his tee shot on 14 found the trees, forcing him to chip out into the fairway. He then rolled in a critical 15-foot par putt to regain some momentum.

"That was big to make that and get things turned around," said Lunde. "Those putts sometimes mean a lot more than ones for birdie or eagle because it saves the round."

Meantime, Tidland, an Oklahoma State grad still searching for his first career win, made a steady climb up the leaderboard to grab a share of the lead. Tidland needed par putts of 20 and 12 feet on the first two holes before finally settling down and posting six birdies on the day.

"It started out a little scrappy for me," said Tidland. "I had some tough putts for par and I made them."

The 35-year old is still searching for his first career win and stands No. 86 on the money list as the Nationwide Tour seasons begins to wind down.

"It's an important week," he said, acknowledging that the $130,500 first-place check would go a long way. "It's coming down to crunch time. It hasn't been a good year but you're only a week or two away from a good year. A win would certainly turn things around."

Third-Round News & Notes: Saturday's third-round scoring average was 70.231. ... Fourth-round tee times begin at 8:00 Sunday morning. The expected finish time is 5:00 p.m. MT.