Utah Championship News
Utah Championship: Iles takes over first place with a 63
Monday, 13 September 2010 16:19
Sandy • Following a 70 on day one to Saturday’s low round of the Utah Championship, Bradley Iles steadily has gained steam.
Now, with a one-shot lead entering today’s final round at Willow Creek Country Club, the native of New Zealand can taste his first Nationwide Tour victory. In addition, the $99,000 first place check would go a long way toward boosting Iles’ status on the all-important money list.
“The putter,” explained Iles moments after completion of a blistering 63 on the par 71 course. “I’ve never putted that well.”
Iles rolled the ball so confidently Saturday that he was disappointed about failing to hole a 30-foot eagle putt on No. 17, a par 5. Instead Iles settled for a tap-in bird, one of four consecutive birdies to complete his round.
“I’ve been getting ready for this course the last two weeks,” Iles said. “Hopefully I’ll stay synched tomorrow.”
Meanwhile, Friday’s leader Michael Putnam continued his steady play. A three-putt double bogey on the No. 8 was his lone stumble en route to a 67, which came on the heels of back-to-back scores of 66.
Iles and Putnam are scheduled to tee off today at 1:30 p.m. The final round begins at 7:56 a.m.
Jeff Gove and Jhonattan Vegas are four shots off the lead at 11-under. Sandy’s Steve Schneiter, followed an even par score Thursday with rounds of 66 and 68 to enter today at 8-under par.
Farmington’s Daniel Summerhays finished with a disappointing 73 to fall back to 2-under par.
“I sank 100 feet of putts the first four holes,” said Iles, whose best finish this season was a fourth place way back in April.
Iles birdied five of his first seven holes, then dropped a shot at No. 8. However, at the same time, Putnam, one of the Nationwide’s longest hitters, put his 5-iron shot into the creek that splits the 8th fairway.
“That took the sting out of it,” Iles said of his lone bogey.
Putnam had an opportunity to tie Iles, but his breaking 10-foot birdie attempt on 18 slid just by the hole.
“It was 15 feet with the break,” he said. “I’ll just try and take advantage of the par 5s tomorrow and play conservatively.”
Gove also had one of the day’s lowest rounds, shooting a 65.
Gove, one of nearly a dozen PGA Tour players in the tournament, has struggled much of 2010, making just three cuts on tour.
He credits an epiphany moment that solved a mechanical problem.
“I’ve been working hard all year,” he said. “I’ve got a lot of breaks coming my way. I’m yelling for the ball to stay in the fairway, that’s the kind of year it’s been.”
|< Prev||Next >|