Pebble Beach, CA (SportsNetwork.com) – Playing in his first event of the
season, Jim Furyk surged up the leaderboard with a 9-under 63 in Saturday’s
third round and he grabbed a 1-shot lead heading into the final day of the
AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.
Furyk, a 16-time winner on Tour, finished three rounds at 18-under-par 197.
Furyk has not won since the Tour Championship in 2010. The 44-year-old is
looking to break a streak of holding eight straight 54-hole leads without
earning a victory.
“I just wanted to kind of come in, find my game, figure out where I was at,”
said Furyk. “Been in a good frame of mind and good attitude. I’ve found a way
to put the ball in the hole this week even though maybe at times I didn’t hit
the greatest shots.”
Over the first three days, players alternated playing Pebble Beach Golf
Links, Spyglass Hill Golf Course and the Shore Course at Monterey Peninsula
Country Club. Pebble Beach and Spyglass Hill are both par 72, while the
Shore Course is par 71. Sunday’s final round will be played at Pebble Beach.
Matt Jones and Brandt Snedeker, both of whom shared the second-round lead,
carded matching, 5-under 67s at Pebble Beach and they are tied for second at
17-under 198. Jones held a 3-shot lead on multiple occasions on Saturday, but
he slipped a bit down the stretch and fell into a share of second place.
Nick Watney, like Furyk, Jones and Snedeker, also played at Pebble Beach. He
fired a 7-under 65 to vault into sole possession of fourth place at 16-under.
Defending champion Jimmy Walker shot a 5-under 66 at Monterey Peninsula,
putting him in a tie for 24th at 10-under 205.
Furyk was on point from the start on Saturday as he was able to catch and pass
Jones down the stretch. Furyk got going early with two birdies on his first
four holes at two and four.
Following four straight pars from No. 5, Furyk landed his second shot on the
par-4 ninth to within eight feet and he knocked that in to make the turn at
minus-3 for the day.
Things only got better for Furyk on the back side. After a par on 10, Furyk
rattled off a trio of birdies from No. 11. Furyk pulled to within two of Jones
with a gain on 15, but Jones extended the lead back to three.
While Jones went on to bogey his final two holes, Furyk made a birdie on 16
and later stuck his second shot on the par-5 18th to inside a foot. He kicked
that in to cap an incredible round and take the outright lead.
“I found a way to get the ball in the hole and play well and I think a lot of
that’s due to being so fresh and not playing for a while,” Furyk said.
“There’s a give and a take. I may not have been as sharp at times, but my
attitude has been able to overcome some of that.”
Jones was relatively routine out of the gate as he made one birdie on the back
nine, his front, at No. 13 to go along with eight pars.
The 34-year-old Australian came out firing on the closing nine as he ripped
off six birdies in a seven-hole stretch from No. 1. The gain on seven got
Jones back up by three with just two holes to go, but he tripped to two
straight bogeys on eight and nine. Furyk ended up catching and passing Jones
with his final two birdies.
Snedeker, also playing the back nine first, held the outright lead at one
point on Saturday and later caught up to Jones when he fell back a few shots.
Snedeker made the turn at minus-3 after making birdies on 13, 15 and 18.
After his fourth gain on No. 2, Snedeker tripped to his first bogey of the
week on No. 3, breaking a streak of 47 straight holes without a dropped shot.
Snedeker later poured in birdies on six and nine to join Jones at minus-17.
NOTES: Furyk missed tying the Pebble Beach course record by one shot. The
record is a 62 set by Tom Kite in 1983 and David Duval in 1997 … Furyk also
missed the 54-hole record of 196, set by Phil Mickelson, Paul Goydos and
Dustin Johnson, by one shot. Mickelson set the mark in 2005 and he was later
matched by Goydos and Johnson in 2010 … Jones is trying to become the first
Australian to win this event since Brett Ogle in 1993 … With the cut falling
at 7-under 208, 64 players advanced to play the weekend.