Saturday, January 5, 2008

Mercedes Benz Championship - Day 3 wrap

Mike Weir finally got one last birdie putt to fall, and it was enough to put him in the lead Saturday at the Mercedes-Benz Championship.

But even after a 5-under 68 on the most gorgeous day at Kapalua this week, one look at the leaderboard told the Canadian he would need another one just like it on Sunday, if not better.

This working vacation suddenly turned into a grind.

Weir, who missed three straight birdie chances inside 10 feet on the back nine, hit a deft chip to 3 feet for birdie on the par-5 18th that put him at 13-under 206 and gave him a one-shot lead over Nick Watney, who birdied his last two holes for a 67.

"I'm going to have to shoot another low one tomorrow," Weir said.

Daniel Chopra (67) and Jonathan Byrd (69) were another stroke back.

In the 10 years that the season-opening event on the PGA TOUR has been coming to the Plantation Course at Kapalua, there has never been so many players in contention going into the final round. Twelve players were separated by five shots, including defending champion Vijay Singh and Kapalua homeowner Jim Furyk.

"There's a lot of guys that have an opportunity tomorrow," Steve Stricker said after a 68 that left him four shots behind. "For me, it's going to take a real low one to catch him. But it's out there."

Weir had to wait three years to make it back to Kapalua, the longest stretch without winning in his career, and he appears ready to make sure he won't have to do that again. Playing in the final group with Stephen Ames of Calgary, followed along by a gallery with shirts, flags and even tattoos of the Canadian flag, Weir played without a bogey on a soggy course with strong breezes and sensational views.

Read the complete golf news story

1 comment:

Tim said...

Most viewers have not played the Plantation Course at Kapalua. The TV broadcast gives no idea what the course is like, not only the lay of the land but the wind that always blows. Those of us who have played there since it opened have to chuckle when we see the best in the world struggle with wind, elevation and greens that are prone to 3-putts. Of course when conditions are not normal (the last day)these players can eat the course up. But, it is a great tournament and it allows everyone to see what a great place Hawaii is.