PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – PGA Tour rookie Luke Guthrie and Michael Thompson survived the chilly, blustery conditions and shared the lead Saturday in the Honda Classic.
With wind making the course play longer and the water look even more daunting, Guthrie held on for a 1-over 71 in his first time playing in the last group on tour. The 22-year-old from Illinois closed with eight good pars. Thompson narrowly missed a 20-foot eagle putt on the par-5 18th hole for a 70.
They were at 8-under 202.
Lee Westwood chipped for an unlikely birdie on the 14th hole, made a 20-foot birdie on the 17th and salvaged a par despite hitting 3-wood into the water on the final hole for a 70 that left him only two shots behind. Geoff Ogilvy also had to work hard for a 70, starting with three bogeys on the opening four holes. Ogilvy made a 7-foot birdie putt on the 18th to join Westwood at 202.
Ogilvy has until the end of the month to go from No. 79 into the top 50 to qualify for the Masters, making today an important day.
Eleven players were separated by four shots going into the final round, a group that included Rickie Fowler, Charles Howell III, Keegan Bradley and Justin Rose.
Missing from the mix was Tiger Woods.
Woods had hoped to post a low score to at least get into contention and was headed that way with a 32 on the front nine. But he didn’t make another birdie the rest of the way, and took a double bogey on the par-3 17th when his shot plugged into the bank short of the green and he never found the ball. He wound up with a 70, not a bad score under the conditions, but not good enough to achieve what he wanted. He was eight shots behind.
LPGA: In Singapore, Stacy Lewis shares the lead with Na Yeon Choi at the HSBC Women’s Champions after the South Korean birdied the 18th hole in a rain-delayed third round.
Choi shot a 5-under 67 to go level with the 28-year-old American on 14-under 202. Overnight leader Lewis, the reigning LPGA Player of the Year, had a 69.
Paula Creamer shot 69 to move into third place at 12-under 204.
EUROPEAN: In Centurion, South Africa, Darren Fichardt stormed into a four-way share of the lead with an 8-under-par 64 in the third round of the Tshwane Open.
Almost two hours of play were lost in mid-afternoon when a thunderstorm forced players from the Els Club course at the Copperleaf Golf Estate. When play resumed, Fichardt birdied his closing three holes in a round that was just one shot shy of the course record.
Fichardt, who lives 10 minutes from the course, moved to 16-under 200 with Chilean Mark Tullo (67) and fellow South Africans Charl Coetzee (68) and Dawie Van Der Walt (67).