Mulroy and Tidland share 54-hole lead in South Georgia

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Chris Tidland holds a share of the 54-hole lead for only the second time in his professional career.
April 25, 2009
Kin Lo, PGA TOUR Staff

VALDOSTA, Ga. -- Garth Mulroy and Chris Tidland share the lead after Saturday's third round of the South Georgia Classic presented by First State Bank and Trust Company. At 10 under par, they have a two-stroke advantage over Tyler Leon and Henrik Bjornstad. Five players are tied for fifth at 7 under.

Inside the Numbers
Tidland vs. Mulroy
Category Tidland Mulroy
Eagles 0 0
Birdies 15 16
Pars 34 33
Bogeys 5 4
Double Bogeys 0 1
Other 0 0
Driving Accuracy 88.1% 71.4%
Driving Distance 302.3 yds. 317.3 yds.
Greens in Regulation 70.4% 72.2%
Putts per Round 27.7 27.3
Putts per GIR 1.658 1.64`
Sand Saves 100% 100%

Mulroy, who held a share of the lead with Bjornstad after the second round, had an up-and-down day en route to a 1-under 71.

"It was a little disappointing. I felt like I could have played better, especially on the back nine," he said. "But it's great to be in this position and I have high expectations for tomorrow."

Tidland carded a 68, following a pair of 69s in the first two rounds. He is the only player in the field to have recorded three rounds in the 60s this week.

"This is exactly where you want to be -- in the lead or close to it going into the final round," he said.

Tidland has held a share of the 54-hole lead only twice in his professional career, most recently at the 2008 Albertsons Boise Open. He went on to earn his only career victory there. Originally from Torrance, Calif., Tidland is a Nationwide Tour veteran and was a member of the PGA TOUR in 2001 and 2007.

Mulroy has never been in the lead after the third round and is looking for his first win on Tour. A native of Durban, South Africa, he is playing his third full season on the Nationwide Tour.

Second-round co-leader Bjornstad, who played with Mulroy, struggled early but settling down on the back nine to stay in contention at 8 under.

Leon posted a 3-under-par 69 to move into a tie for third with Bjornstad. He played his way into the South Georgia Classic at the Monday qualifying tournament. The last open qualifier to win a Nationwide Tour event was Kyle Reifers at the 2006 Chattanooga Classic. Reifers is within striking distance this year as well, three shots back at 7 under.

The course has played progressively more difficult throughout the week. The scoring average was .67 strokes over par in Round 3. The hardest hole cumulatively has been No. 3, a 490-yard par 4 that has yielded only 27 birdies compared with 117 bogeys or worse.

It was warm and dry in Valdosta for Round 3. Temperatures soared to nearly 90 degrees with light southeast winds and full sunshine. Sunday's final round will feature similar conditions with light easterly winds and highs in the middle to upper 80s.

The fourth round begins at 8:21 a.m. Sunday morning with twosomes going off the first tee in nine-minute intervals. The final group starts at 1:15 p.m.

Third-Round Notebook: There are currently 28 players within six shots of the lead. ... Five of the 14 open qualifiers made the cut. In addition to Leon, the others are Keegan Bradley (1 over, tied for 53rd); Bradley Iles (6 under, tied for 10th); Patrick Nagle (4 over, 59th); and Brendan Steele (4 under, tied for 26th). ... Only one of the four sponsor exemptions made the cut: Jason Allred, who is 2 under and tied for 36th.