By Andrew Both
GREENSBORO North Carolina (Reuters) - Nick Watney carded a five-under-par 65 to grab the lead after the third round at the Wyndham Championship on Saturday.
The American sank a 20-foot putt from the fringe at the last to edge one stroke clear of Canadian Brad Fritsch (65) atop a tightly-bunched leaderboard at Sedgefield.
Swede Freddie Jacobson (66) and halfway leader Heath Slocum (68) were two strokes off the pace while 2012 U.S. Open champion Webb Simpson was among a group of nine others within four shots.
Watney, 33, is a five-times winner on the PGA Tour but has struggled this season and is a lowly 110th on the tour's points standings.
He became a father in March and it took him a while to learn the art of time management. When he missed the cut by one stroke at the British Open in July, he knew it was time to take stock.
"I was really down," Watney told reporters, before addressing the subject of parenthood. "It's definitely been a learning process for me (and) time management is the biggest thing, wanting to be there for her and my wife and still try to become a good player.
"Some nights she's not going to sleep very much and I need to help out a little more (rather) than just after a round go home and watch TV and lay around."
Watney has made only one bogey all week, while Fritsch has not dropped a shot since a pair of bogeys on Thursday.
The 36-year-old Canadian jump-started his third round with an eagle from 76 yards at the par-four eighth hole to move into contention for his first tour title.
Even though he is ranked 163rd on tour and needs a strong finish on Sunday to keep his exempt status, Fritsch sounded more concerned with his father's performance in the club championship at Carleton Golf Club in Ottawa.
"I kept my mind on it because he's never won," Fritsch said of his father Brian, who was playing the final on Saturday.
There were two holes-in-one on Saturday, by David Toms at the seventh and Kevin Foley at the 12th.
"I crushed it right at (the flag)," said Toms, who hit a five-iron from 200 yards. "I knew I had to hit it solid. I landed it in the front fringe and it rolled in like a putt."
It was Toms's third ace on tour. His first came at the 2001 PGA Championship, which he won for his lone major title. His second was at the Jack Nicklaus-hosted Memorial tournament, while he was playing with the 18-times major champion.
Foley's ace came at the 12th, with a five-iron from 195 yards. His ball ran to the back of the green, stopped momentarily and then backtracked towards the hole at the front of the green.
"It was taking the break pretty good right towards the hole," he said. "I said ‘go in' and sure enough we saw it disappear."
(Editing by Frank Pingue)
- Sports & Recreation
- Nick Watney
- Brad Fritsch
- PGA Championship