News & Notes from Round 3

For the full leaderboard and to view pictures from yesterday’s Round 3, visit www.SeniorPGA2009.com.

Even the PGA is a fan of Lebron (photo: PGA of America)

Even the PGA is a fan of Lebron (photo: PGA of America)

Sunday TV Times

NBC Sports will televise the final round of the 70th Senior PGA Championship, from Noon to 3 p.m. eastern.

Aced It

Englishman Roger Chapman hit a hole-in-one on the par-3, 206-yard 17th hole yesterday, which is the first and only one of the tournament so far. Using a 4-iron, he knocked it to the front of the green where it took one bounce and rolled 8 feet into the cup. The roar of the crowd could be clearly heard several holes away.

Dream Pairing

So you’re PGA Club Professional Robert Gibbons, you’re competing in your first Senior PGA Championship, and you make the 36-hole cut at Canterbury Golf Club.

So, with whom do you get paired for the third round? Only World Golf Hall of Famers Hale Irwin and Greg Norman. How’s that for a story to tell the folks back at Arrowhead Golf Club in Molalla, Ore., where Gibbons is the PGA head professional!

Walking stride by stride with his legendary playing partners, Gibbons fared well, shooting 75. Irwin and Norman both shot 73.

“You can’t dream up playing with Norman and Irwin in a Saturday game,” said Gibbons, who played and missed the cut in the 1989 PGA Championship. “The situation was a little different than I’m used to. The first tee was really kind of tough.  But after that I tried to stay calm, just go through my routine and tried to hit it in the fairway, tried to hit it on the green.”

Ready to Win?

Michael Allen, who leads heading today’s final round, has never won in nearly 20 years on the PGA Tour. Ross Drummond, the leader after the second round, has yet to win on either the European PGA Tour and European Seniors Tour over more than 30 years.

Thanks, Mike Mitchell

Allen credits PGA Professional Mike Mitchell of Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, Calif., with helping him refine his swing and attitude.

“He’s just helped change my game,” Allen said. “He is more driven than any man I have ever met. He’s got such passion and it’s just carried over. I am not fighting to find my swing every single day and that has made the game more fun.”

Dave’s Stock is Holding

Dave Stockton, 67, winner of the 1996 U.S. Senior Open at Canterbury, kept up his consistent play today, posting a 72 and tying for 30th overall at 5-over-par 215.

Three Major Amigos

Three major champions – Larry Mize (1987 Masters), Jeff Sluman (1988 PGA Championship) and Tom Kite (1992 U.S. Open) – will be in the final two threesomes Sunday. Mize will be in the next-to-last group at 9:55 a.m., while Kite and Sluman will be paired together with third-round leader Michael Allen at 10:05 a.m.

Where’s Jay?

Defending Senior PGA Champion Jay Haas is six strokes out of the lead at 3-over-par 213 after turning in his best round of the week, a 2-under-par 68 yesterday.

Pace Setters

Hal Sutton, the 1983 PGA Champion and 2004 U.S. Ryder Cup Captain, and 1993 Senior PGA Champion Tom Wargo, were the first group out yesterday. The only twosome in the third round, they played their round in a brisk 3 hours and 37 minutes.

Sutton shot 70 — 217 while Wargo had 72 — 219.

Final Pairing, Part Two

This is the second consecutive year that Jeff Sluman has appeared in the final pairing in the final round of the Senior PGA Championship. Last year, in his Senior PGA Championship debut in his hometown of Rochester, N.Y., Sluman came up short against eventual Champion Jay Haas and runner-up Bernhard Langer, finishing in a tie for ninth place.

“It would be great to have my name on that fantastic trophy,” Sluman said of the Alfred S. Bourne Trophy that goes to the Senior PGA Champion. Sluman already has his name inscribed on the Wanamaker Trophy for winning the 1988 PGA Championship.

Fast Start, Shaky From There

PGA Club Professional James Mason birdied the first three holes today to get to even par. But he stumbled with four bogeys the rest of the way and finished with 71 — 214. He is tied for 22nd place.

Better Each Day

Mark O’Meara, who won the 1979 U.S. Amateur Championship at Canterbury Golf Club, continued to make progress today. He shot 69, and at 5-over par for the Championship, is tied for 30th place heading to the final round.

Two More Eagles at 15

In addition to the hole-in-one by Roger Chapman at the par-3 17th hole, Larry Mize and Mike Goodes each made eagle-3 at No. 15. All five of the eagle-3s in the Championship have come at the 549-yard par-5 hole.

Tough Day for Drummond

Second-round leader Ross Drummond of Scotland bogeyed five holes on the back nine and shot 76. He is still only five shots out of the lead.

“I really just lost it on the greens and that just kind of spilled over into my game,” said Drummond, who had 37 putts today. “It was just some poor putting and then just a lack of confidence. Hopefully I can come out tomorrow in a better frame of mind.”

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