Experience makes noise at Nelson
IRVING, Texas -- A teenager is making HP Byron Nelson Championship headlines, but the old guard isn't going down quietly.
Kenny Perry, Tom Pernice Jr. and Corey Pavin are clustered near the top of the leaderboard going into the final round of the Nelson on Sunday. The latter two have already turned 50, and Perry will reach Champions Tour status when he reaches the half-century mark in August.
"Age is only what you feel like and what you make it to be, and I've worked hard to keep myself in shape," said Pernice, who is tied for fourth at 7-under.
"Corey has played well this week and Kenny and myself are right there. This course [TPC Four Season Resort & Club] is the type where if you control the ball, length is not a huge issue and everybody has an opportunity."
Pernice, Perry and Pavin have 34 PGA Tour wins between them. All are chasing 22-year-old leader and Fort Worth resident Jason Day, who is 12-under.
A slimmed-down Perry was feeling frisky about a 66 that positioned him for a possible Sunday charge at 7-under.
"It has been a long year, a lot of work, lost a lot of weight," Perry said. "I've been working out hard, trying to rededicate myself and get back in the mix here, and actually I have a great shot at winning a golf tournament again."
Pavin, a Dallas resident and the 2010 Ryder Cup captain, made 15 pars Saturday. His two birdies came on a pair of the most difficult holes, the 461-yard par-4 No. 8 and the par-3 No. 17. He is tied for seventh at 6-under.
Pernice said the older guys count on experience and good putting to make up for a loss of distance.
At the other end of the spectrum is 16-year-old headline-maker Jordan Spieth, the sixth-youngest player to make a cut in a PGA Tour event.
Pernice was paired with Spieth on Saturday, and Pavin will tee off with the Jesuit junior Sunday.
Walking off the first tee Saturday, Pernice told Spieth, "'You're the youngest and I'm the oldest. I have two daughters, 15 and 16.' We got a chuckle right off the bat."
FW resident Day leads
Jason Day is the leader by two strokes over Blake Adams going into Sunday's final round.
Day was 12-under after a 67 on Saturday. He dealt with more wind than those with earlier tee times, which leads to some difficult decisions on the tee.
"There are a lot of side winds," Day said. "I'm standing on 15 with a driver and the wind is really coming off the left, and you're sitting there aiming down the left side. And if you hit a hook, you're out of bounds, so you aim a little further right and try and hit a draw. Once it gets up over those trees, it's going to the right."
Day almost pulled out of the tournament Thursday because of illness but ended the first round as co-leader and has been near the top since.
A 20-foot par-saving putt on No. 18 after driving into the water hazard allows Day to carry a positive attitude into Sunday.
"It doesn't leave a bad taste in your mouth after the round, so I was very happy with that par save," Day said.
Hensby, Atwal score low rounds
Mark Hensby exchanged a high-five with a young spectator after holing a 62-foot chip shot for birdie at No. 17.
Hensby matched Arjun Atwal with the day's low round of 64.
Hensby, five strokes off the lead, said he overheard a conversation between two kids. One didn't think Hensby could pull off the shot.
"It hit the flag and it went in," Hensby said. "A bit lucky. I don't think he thought it could be done."
Adams one back
Blake Adams doesn't sound like a guy who's going to feel final-round pressure, even though he is just one stroke off the lead.
"I'm playing golf for a living," the 34-year-old rookie from Georgia said. "You know, there is a lot worse things that could happen. And if I play great tomorrow, which I fully expect to, fantastic. If I don't, I'll try again next week. It's a learning process.
"I have a lot of miles under me, but I'm just going to battle the golf course and see where I end up."
Caddie knows best
Jeff Overton gives credit to a caddie change for his improved play this week. Overton is third at 9-under.
"He's worked on my confidence," said Overton, "and he's always talking about being confident. Everything he says is positive."
A new driver has added distance for Overton.
To win, Overton said it might come down to the best grinder.
"The place plays so hard, because the winds at different angles and so forth. It's going to take patience," he said. "Fairways and greens out there are going to go a long, long way."
The toughest hole so far is No. 3, a 528-yard par-4. It is playing to a 4.28 average. Next is No. 18, a 429-yard par-4, with an average of 4.21. The easiest hole is the 542-yard par-5 No. 7, playing almost a half-stroke under par at 4.54. ... Attendance for Saturday was 78,000, an increase of 3,000 over the third round last year. ... Jason Schultz of Dallas will be the first player off, at 7:25 a.m. Sunday. The final pairing of Jason Day and Blake Adams is scheduled for 12:30 p.m.