Saturday's golf: Redman gets easier wind, takes 1-shot lead in Bermuda
Southampton, Bermuda — Doc Redman found the wind far more manageable Saturday, and he took advantage with a 4-under 67 for a one-shot lead going into the final round of the Bermuda Championship.
The wind came out of the opposite direction as the previous day and it wasn’t quite as strong. It showed in the scores and in the number of opportunities for players who never won or have gone without winning in years.
Redman was at 10-under 203, one shot ahead of Ryan Armour (70), Wyndham Clark (70) and Kramer Hickok (69), who took three putts from a tough spot on the fringe on the 18th at Port Royal.
Another shot behind were Matt Jones (66), Brian Gay (67) and Ollie Schniederjans (69). Jones was bogey-free in the third round, which to him was as impressive as any of his five birdies.
Redman, the 2017 U.S. Amateur champion, is among 10 players separated by four shots who have never won on the PGA Tour. A victory Sunday comes with an invitation to the Masters next April.
“I feel like with the wind switching, it was a little easier,” Redman said. “And it was still really windy. But yesterday was incredible. We couldn’t have been far away from stopping play yesterday. That made it a little easier. And the greens roll great, so if you have looks at it you can make birdies.”
Redman still was mindful of the wind, particularly on the par-5 17th when he made decisions to play short off the tee because of the strong left-to-right wind off the Atlantic Ocean and potential problems it could have created.
The wind also made it tough on Armour, the 44-year-old from Ohio who picked the wrong day to not be swinging his best. What saved him was a short game that enabled him to break par for the third straight da and to stay very much in the mix to win on Sunday.
“I’m going to have to go figure out what was going on,” Armour said. “Toward the end there, I started hitting the center of the face a little more. As you know, when the winds are this high, you’ve got to hit in the center or else it’s going to get blown all over.”
He took a little off a pitching wedge for a beautiful third shot just below the pin for birdie on the par-5 17th, and he narrowly missed a 15-footer on the 18th that would have given him a share of the lead.
Jones is used to windy conditions from his roots in Australia, and he handled it well. He will be going for his first PGA Tour victory since the 2014 Houston Open, although Jones won the Australian Open at the end of last year, and that tournament had a stronger field than what he’s facing in Bermuda.
The only player from the top 50 in the world was defending champion Brendon Todd, who missed the cut.
Gay, 48, whose putting stroke atones for his lack of power, has not won since 2013. He was long enough on the 507-yard 17th to make eagle to cap off his 67 and put him in prime position.
The oldest player in the field, 64-year-old Fred Funk, didn’t fare so well. He shot 75 and was 13 shots behind.
Darren Clarke eagled the par-5 18th hole Saturday for a 10-under 62 and a share of the second-round lead in the PGA Tour Champions’ TimberTech Champions at Boca Raton, Florida.
Winless on the 50-and-over tour, the 52-year-old major champion from Northern Ireland had eight birdies in the bogey-round at The Old Course at Broken Sound.
“I’m looking forward to tomorrow.,” Clarke said. “Maybe one of these days I am going to have one. Unfortunately, with my S-10 visa situation, this is my last tournament, I can’t play Phoenix next week. Let’s hope I finish the year strong.”
Robert Karlsson of Sweden birdied the 18th for a 66 to match Clarke at 13-under 131.
“When you play on the Champions Tour, it’s just very, very low scoring all the time and very bunched up,” Karlsson said. “I’m trying not to get too caught up in it, play my own game and that’s going to be the plan tomorrow as well. It’s a bit of a weird feeling playing without crowds as well, so in one way it’s not much different. I’m just going to try to treat it as a normal day and go out and try to shoot as low as I can.”
Clarke overcame a one-stroke penalty for picking up his ball on the second fairway, forgetting that preferred lies weren’t allowed in the wet conditions.
“First hole, fine. Second hole, down the middle of the fairway, marked it, picked it up. Oops,” Clarke said. “One-shot penalty straightaway. Anyway, hit it over the back of the green, chipped it in for par.”
He set up the closing eagle with an 8-iron to 3 feet.
Jim Furyk was a stroke back after a 68. The 50-year-old Furyk won this year in his first two starts on the senior tour.
Local favorite Bernhard Langer, the winner in 2010 and 2019, had a 68 to join Cameron Beckman (66), Kent Jones (66) and Scott Parel (68) at 11 under.
“It’s nice to be in the hunt, nice to see my name up there on the leaderboard and not too far behind,” the 63-year-old Langer said. “It’s playing totally different this year to the years in the past. Where it used to be firm and bouncy and shorter, this year it’s a lot longer, so I’m struggling a bit more on the par 5s. Can’t reach them like the long hitters can.”
John Daly, tied with Furyk for first-round lead after a 64, had a 73 to trop into a tie for 20th at at 7 under. Daly is playing his fourth event since revealing he’s fighting bladder cancer.
Jamie Donaldson will look to seal his first European Tour title in more than six years after taking a one-stroke lead at the end of the third round of the Cyprus Open at Paphos.
Donaldson, who is most famous for securing the winning point for the European team at the 2014 Ryder Cup, birdied the 18th hole for the third time this week to shoot 2-under 69 and reach 14 under par. He won the last of his three titles at the Czech Masters in 2014 and is playing on an invitation this week.
The 45-year-old Welshman moved one shot ahead of five players at Aphrodite Hills Resort – David Drysdale, Marcus Armitage, Thomas Detry and the Finnish pair of Kalle Samooja and Sami Välimäki.
Samooja started the third round six strokes off the lead but shot the lowest round of the day, a 7-under 64.