Golf capsules: Van Pelt finishes strong, takes Canadian Open lead
VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) – Bo Van Pelt held his finish after a perfect iron shot into the 18th green, lowering the club in time to acknowledge the generous applause after his ball stopped five feet below the hole.
Another great drive. Another great approach shot.
It had become ho-hum stuff for Van Pelt in the third round of the RBC Canadian Open on Saturday.
Van Pelt birdied four of his last five holes, including the final two, to finish with a 65 and a one-stroke lead.
“If you are hitting every fairway and green after nine holes there is no way you should be over par,” Van Pelt said of his 1 over front nine.
Canadian Adam Hadwin, playing on a sponsor’s exemption, missed a 12-foot birdie putt on 18 to finish with a 68, and sit alone in second at 4-under 206.
Andres Romero (67) and first-round leader Kris Blanks (69) are tied for third, two shots back, after another tough day in the thick rough along the tight, tree-lined Shaugnessy Golf and Country Club.
John Daly, who four-putted No. 18 for triple-bogey Friday, shot 67 and is in a group of four at 2 under with Sean O Hair (66), Aron Price (69), and Geoff Ogilvy (70) heading into Sunday’s final round.
Van Pelt, who had five-straight top-15 finishes before tying for 57th at last week’s British Open, was 1-over at the turn and mad at himself for leaving strokes on the course with poor putting. He hit every green – no easy task this week – but had a couple of three-putts and missed three “short” birdie putts.
But with no one else going low, Van Pelt calmed himself on the walk to No. 10.
“I felt if I could get one hot nine, I could get in contention,” he said.
The 36-year-old from Indiana did just that, starting with a birdie on the par-4 10th, another on the par-3 12th, and four on the final five holes, ending with a 5-foot putt after another beautiful approach on the tough par-4 18th.
With only 11 players still under par after three days of thick rough and narrow fairways, few expected to see anyone setting the nine-hole record at the 7,010-yard, tree-lined Shaugnessy Golf and Country Club. Van Pelt did it by keeping his driver in the short grass, and hitting 17 of 18 of the small greens.
“You never know you are going to shoot 29,” said Van Pelt, who used his driver for all but one hole on Saturday. “You have to drive it in play. If you drive it in rough, you can’t hit the green. I grew up on a tree-lined golf course with small greens, so from a visual standpoint, I like the looks of it.”
Like Van Pelt, Daly said the key was hitting his driver well.
“You have to,” said Daly, saying it at least gave him a chance to get to the small greens from the rough if he hit it further off the tee. “If you lay up you can t get to the green on your approach shots. You’ve just got to attack.”
Calcavecchia, Frost, Cochran lead Senior British Open
WALTON ON THE HILL, England (AP) – Mark Calcavecchia surrendered a three-shot cushion to end the third round of the Senior British Open on Saturday tied for the lead with fellow American Russ Cochran and South Africa’s David Frost.
Calcavecchia, the co-leader after the first and second rounds at Walton Heath, was in cruise control at 10 under with six holes remaining before imploding when his accuracy off the tee deserted him.
A disastrous triple-bogey 7 at No. 13 – after driving into the heather beside the fairway – was followed by another dropped shot on No. 16, although the 1989 British Open champion salvaged something from his round with a neat birdie at the final hole.
Calcavecchia, bidding to become the fourth player to capture the British Open double, shot 72 to put him at 7-under 209. His stumble gave a bunched-up field renewed hope in the Champions Tour’s third major of the year.
Frost shot a bogey-free 66, tied for lowest round of the week on the parkland course just south of London, while Cochran’s 67 included a double-bogey 6 on No. 14.
Corey Pavin, the United States’ 2010 Ryder Cup captain, and England’s Barry Lane each shot 69 and were a shot off the lead, with three more Americans – Chip Beck, Mike Goodes and Lee Rinker – at 5 under.
Three-time winner Tom Watson was one of four players a further stroke behind after a 69 in a third round played in overcast conditions with a light breeze.
Calcavecchia, who has been in a three-way share of the lead after every round this tournament, described his errant driving on the back nine as “army golf,” because it alternated between going left and right off the tee.
Ai Miyazato takes
at Evian Masters
EVIAN-LES-BAINS, France (AP) – Former champion Ai Miyazato of Japan shot a 5-under 67 on Saturday to take a two-shot lead after the third round at the Evian Masters.
Miyazato, who won her first LPGA title at the Evian Masters two years ago, made five birdies for a 13-under total of 203. She heads into Sunday’s fourth round ahead of a group of four players, including Kraft Nabisco winner Stacy Lewis.
“I hit the ball really well today, and my putting was really good as well,” the 26-year-old Miyazato said. “I was really calm out there, so that’s why I didn’t have a bogey.”
With the course lending itself to aggressive golf and the pins made for attacking, Miyazato is expecting to come under heavy pressure on Sunday as she bids for her first title of the year, and her second Evian Masters trophy in three years.
She was sixth at the recent U.S. Open, but her best result this year was a tie for fifth at the Sybase Match Play Championship in May.
Overnight leader Miki Saiki of Japan, Ran Hong of South Korea and Angela Stanford are also at 11 under.