FORT WORTH, Texas – Tim Herron couldn’t believe the ball went in the cup. Maybe even more amazing was that he still led after the third round of the Colonial.
His birdie from a greenside bunker on the 14th hole, a 42-foot shot that went into the hole on the fly, put Herron in the lead alone Saturday. He held up his arms and smiled in amazement, then kissed the ball after pulling it from the cup.
“I was thinking that I could make that shot actually, but I didn’t think it was going to fly in the hole. I visualized it rolling into the hole,” Herron said. “It came flying out of there. Luckily, the hole and the stick caught it.”
Despite that incredible shot, Herron then lost the lead after consecutive bogeys.
But after getting some simple advice from his old caddie, Herron hit his approach at No. 18 to within 2 feet. The easy birdie putt capped a round of 2-under 68 that got him to 10 under and tied for the lead with Rod Pampling.
After the bogeys at Nos. 16-17, Scott Steele, the longtime caddie Herron reunited with this week, told him, “Let’s birdie the last hole. Forget what happened.”
Herron hit his final tee shot into the fairway and a 9-iron approach from 147 yards.
Pampling didn’t get off to a good start, missing the fairway and bogeying Colonial’s easiest hole, the 563-yard No. 1. That was the first of his three bogeys, but he managed to finish with an even-par round of 70 – a day after his career-best 63 put him in the lead.
“It’s just as satisfying shooting a par round and being tied for the lead,” said Pampling, who blasted from a greenside bunker to 4 feet to save par at No. 18. “I know I didn’t play great, but I was solid out there mentally. That’s what kept me in it.”
Pampling already won this season at Bay Hill, where Herron got the last of his three PGA Tour victories in 1999. That was the same year Herron, affectionately known as “Lumpy”, was the runner-up at Hogan’s Alley.
Sorenstam gets another shot at Sybase Classic
NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. – Annika Sorenstam’s pesky missed cut streak is finally over.
The eight-time LPGA Tour player of the year shot a 4-under 67 Saturday in the second round of the Sybase Classic, a round good enough to have her one stroke behind leader Gloria Park and well above the cut line.
“Obviously I’m very happy. I get to play Sunday so that’s a good thing. I’ve improved from last week. Kidding aside, I’m very happy,” said Sorenstam, who was at 3-under 139 for two trips around the 6,161-yard Wykagyl Country Club course.
Park, the 2002 winner, also shot a 67.
With all play wiped out Friday because of heavy rain and the first round not being completed until Saturday morning, LPGA officials decided to shorten the $1.3 million tournament to 54 holes.
The only other time this tournament was shortened to 54 holes was in 2000, the second time Sorenstam won it.
Allison Hanna, who had missed her last four cuts and had a best finish of a tie for 22nd this year, bogeyed two of her last three holes in a 71 that had her at 140.
Helen Alfredsson had a 66, the day’s low round, and was in a group of five tied for fourth at 1 under. Laura Diaz (68), 1992 champion Juli Inkster (69), rookie Seon Hwa Lee (71) and 2003 champion Hee-Won Han (73) also were at 141.
Han had the best round Saturday of the three players who were tied for the first-round lead with 68s. Beth Bauer and Natalie Gulbis had second-round 74s.
Sorenstam shoot two 73s last week in missing the cut at the Michelob Ultra Open by one stroke. She had last missed a cut in 2002, a run of 69 events. Her cut streak before that was 74 tournaments, dating to June 1999.
After an opening 72, Sorenstam had promised she was “going to go low” in the second round. A day late because of the rain, she did.
Bjorn eagles last hole to share lead at Irish Open
MAYNOOTH, Ireland – Thomas Bjorn sank a 40-foot eagle putt at the final hole Saturday to share the third-round lead with Paul Casey and Anthony Wall at the Irish Open.
Bjorn had a 5-under 67 for a 5-under total of 211, while Casey and Wall birdied the last hole. Casey shot 68 and Wall had a 70.
Darren Clarke missed a putt of less than 2 feet on the final hole for a 67.
He is a stroke back with Ross Fisher (69) and Peter Hedblom (70).
Ian Poulter (73) bogeyed the 16th and 18th holes to drop into a tie for eighth place with Padraig Harrington (69). Second-round leader Nicolas Colsaerts shot 74 to join them.
U.S. Open champion Michael Campbell shot 71 for a share of 21st place – five strokes off the lead.
Fifty players completed their second round in the wind-delayed event earlier Saturday. Colin Montgomerie, who designed the course, missed the cut by one stroke. It was his seventh missed cut in eight events.