Record logjam atop PGA leaderboard
NORTON, Mass. -- The Deutsche Bank Championship appeared to belong to Tiger Woods at the start of the week. Now it's up for grabs for just about everyone except golf's No. 1 player.
John Rollins set a course record with a 28 on the back nine Sunday, holing out a bunker shot on the 18th hole for an 8-under 63 as the leaders were still warming up on the range. Jason Bohn birdied his last four holes for a 67. Carl Petterson scrambled to a 68. Billy Andrade started and finished with birdies and made 16 pars in between.
And when Olin Browne recovered from an awkward spot in the fairway to save par on the 18th for a 70, he joined the five-way tie atop the leaderboard, the largest logjam going into the final round in 22 years on the PGA Tour.
"We just have to wait until the last few holes to see the way things shake out," Browne said. "With as many guys as there tied for the lead ... there's going to be a lot of jockeying for position. The important thing is to catch a rhythm, hit as many quality shots as possible, and if you have a chance on the last couple of holes, take your crack."
The leaders were at 10-under 203, one shot ahead of Kent Jones (63) and Joey Sindelar (69). Fourteen other players were within four shots of the lead on the TPC of Boston, where birdies and bogeys can happen quickly.
"I'm ready to go right now," said Andrade, who hasn't won in five years. "I'm not going to back down. I'm going to go for it tomorrow and I'm going to play exactly the same way I played today, and we'll see what happens."
About the only player missing is Woods.
After opening with a 65 to take the lead, Woods again stumbled to a 72 -- his second straight round over par -- and was seven shots behind.
"I played well the first day. And for some reason ... welcome to golf," Woods said. "You come out the next day and you just don't have it. And the last two days, I have not had it."
Rollins had it, even if he didn't know it.
He was going nowhere when he jokingly told his caddie to brace himself for a record back nine. Rollins had no idea he would wind up atop the leaderboard.
"I joked with my caddie at the turn, told him he was going to see the best 29 on the back nine," Rollins said. "I ended up shooting 28. I played great on the back, hit the ball great, made some putts, and here we go."
The third round started an hour late for television, and it made a huge difference in dry weather that siphoned any moisture out of the greens and made the course play difficult late in the afternoon. Players who teed off before noon were a combined 35 under par. The later starters were a combined 41 over par.
The loudest cheers as the sun dipped behind the trees were for Andrade, who grew up in Rhode Island and, like Brad Faxon, considers this his hometown tournament. Andrade nearly holed a bunker shot on the 18th hole, then rolled in a 4-foot birdie to join the fray.
"I'm going to have a blast," he said. "I haven't been in that position in a long time."
Andrade was inspired by watching Faxon win last week in Hartford before a New England crowd for his first victory in four years. Maybe he's next.
Or maybe Faxon can complete the New England sweep.
Faxon won the Buick Championship after making the cut on the number. He narrowly made the cut Saturday, then shot 66 in the third round and suddenly is only four shots out of the lead.
The crowd lost some of its energy as Woods continued to tumble out of contention, although now it has a potluck of players who can seize control at any minute.
Browne and Jeff Brehaut were the 36-hole leaders, and both struggled early. Only Browne recovered, making good birdie putts on the 12th and 14th and staying out of trouble the rest of the way.
Robert Allenby also had a share of the lead with birdies on his first two holes, but he began to drop shots and fell off the pace. He birdied the last hole for a 71, but was still only two shots behind.
The biggest surprise might have been Bohn, who won the B.C. Open earlier this year.
He had only one par on the back nine -- scrambling on the 14th hole. Bohn figures the energy bars he has been eating at the turn gave him a short burst before he runs out of gas. So he packed a sandwich (crunchy peanut butter, a little grape jelly) and took off. He hit an 8-iron into 7 feet on the 15th, a 5-iron that rolled 7 feet past the hole on the 16th, a sand wedge to 5 feet on the next hole, and two-putted from 18 feet on the 18th.
Bohn is known to get hot. He once shot 58 on the Canadian tour.
"I hope I can do it tomorrow, because I think I'll be right there if I can," Bohn said.
Chances are, he'll have plenty of company.
Tiger Woods and Matt Kuchar played together for the first time, linked by winning four consecutive U.S. Amateur titles between them. Woods won three straight, then Kuchar won in 1997. "I think he did most of the work," Kuchar said. "But it's nice to be mentioned in that company." ... Deutsche Bank Americas CEO Seth Waugh said the tournament would donate a portion of the proceeds to Katrina relief funds, and the company will donate at least $1 million to relief efforts. ... Olin Browne missed the cut last week in Hartford, but it gave him time to spend the weekend at Cape Cod with his family. His mother is from Providence, and Browne used to spend his summers on Cape Cod. He played nine holes with his grandmother, Betsy Emmett. Why only nine holes? "She's 94," Browne said.
Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press
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