Weworski leads after 54 holes | NevadaAppeal.com

Weworski leads after 54 holes

Larry Windsor
For the Nevada Appeal

DAYTON — Tyler Weworski (Carlsbad, Calif.), fired a 5-under 67 to retain the lead with a 10-under total of 206 after 54-holes of Web.com Tour qualifying at Dayton Valley Golf Club.

Tony Finau (Lehi, Utah), Chris Williams (Moscow, Idaho) and Chris Gilman (Yorba Linda, Calif.) are tied for second just one-shot back at 9-under as all three also carded 67 in the third round. Martin Trainer (Palo Alto, Calif.) shot a second consecutive 6-under 66, low round of the day, for solo fifth place at 7-under 209. John Catlin is in 6th place after a 3-under 69 for a 5-under 211 total.

“I love the course, it’s a fun layout,” said Weworski, a former Texas Tech golfer playing in his second PGA/Web.com qualifier but first at Dayton. “There is something about really fast greens that brings out the best in my putting and that has been a key so far.”

Weworski qualified for the Canadian Tour this year and feels he gained valuable experience playing the full season.

“I really learned a lot up there and I feel really confident about my game,” he said. “My caddy and I decided to go into the final round with the attitude ‘Let’s try to win this thing’ and play it like any other tournament, not a qualifier.”

Finau has played steady golf all week and the long hitter has feasted on the par 5’s. He played the four par 5’s 5-under in the third round that accounted for his 67 on the day.

“I played very solid, hit the ball well and made it easy on myself,” he said. “I putted for eagle on three of the par 5’s and made eagle on 8.”

Trainer hit the ball all over the place in the first round in route to a 5-over 77, including knocking down a fence and hitting a house while going out of bounds both times. Trainer has improved dramatically in his last two rounds that have been the lowest of the 54-holes. His third-round 66 could have been even better except that he 3-putted three greens.

“I played very well overall and despite the three putts my putting was pretty good,” he said. “The final round will be a lot less stressful than I thought it would be after the first day. I can play a little more strategically and not take any big risks, like going for eagle on 18 even though I’ve made eagle there in the last two rounds.”

Former Nevada Wolf Pack golfer Scott Smith (Fallon) shot an even par round 72 for a 54-hole total of even par 216 and a tie for 18th place. That puts him three shots better than the last number to qualify going into the final round.

“I had a steady day, nothing great and nothing bad and I felt I should have gone lower because the conditions were good for scoring” said Smith who three-putted the 18th hole for par after hitting a great second shot to about 25 feet. “Yeah, I would feel a lot better about the day if that putt goes in on 18, but I’m still okay and in a good position to qualify.”

Part of the difference between a regular professional tournament and a qualifier is that there is as much drama in the battle for the final qualifying positions as there is for the top spot on the leaderboard. Three players fired rounds of 4-under 68 in the third round to significantly improve their chances of qualifying.

James Drew (Las Vegas) improved from a tie for 31st after 36-holes into a tie for 16th at 1-under for the tournament. Matt Marshall (Marana, Ariz.) and Mike Plate (Ogallala, Nebr.) both jumped from a tie for 47th into a tie for 25th at 2-over that put them below the projected number to qualify.

“In the final round I am going to try to hit good solid golf shots and hope they stop on the green,” said Drew, who is playing in his 11th tour-qualifying tournament at Dayton. “The greens are putting as fast as I have ever seen them and I am going to use some of my experience to my advantage.”

NOTES: If the tournament ended today, the cut line for qualifying would be at 3-over par, with 36 players theoretically advancing. The final cut is projected to be between 2 and 3-over. Final round performance will be crucial for many players in the field. Twenty-five players will battle for the final 10 qualifying spots as 15 players are clustered between 1 and 3-over that would make the cut. And 10 players are within four shots of the current cut line with totals of 6-over 222 or better… A total of 17 players are under par after 54 holes…The low 32 scores and ties after the final round will advance to Second Stage Web.com Tour Qualifying… The field has played to an average score of 73.50 for 54-holes.

… There have been 19 eagles and 707 birdies.