Woodland makes a move
Big hitter makes big move up the leaderboard, Laird in contention
By Paul Higham. Last Updated: 22/01/11 11:04am
Woodland: Round of the day
Gary Woodland shot an eight-under 64 to join Jhonattan Vegas at the top of the third-round leaderboard at the Bob Hope Classic, while Martin Laird matched that round to sit just two shots back in fourth.
Woodland's eight-under round came on the Nicklaus Private course, one of the four being used in the five-round pro-am event, and was the best round of his career in relation to par.
Overnight leader Vegas, the first Venezuelan to play on the PGA Tour, showed few signs of nerves at heading the field as he carded a flawless round of 67 at SilverRock resort, rated as the hardest of the courses being used in the event.
His five-under round put 26-year-old Vegas on 18-under and ensured he retained the joint-lead of the event entering the weekend, alongside the flying Woodland.
Vegas won on the Nationwide Tour last year but is playing just his fifth event on the main tour, although he is showing few signs of feeling any pressure.
"If it's something that I do well, it's sleep," said Vegas. "And leading a golf tournament is not going to cut into my sleep.
"It's always fun. You always feel excited about leading a tournament, especially a PGA Tour event for the first time. I'm just having a good time, enjoying it and just having fun.
"It was a great round today, I just wish I would have made a few more putts. It was probably the best ball-striking round out of all three. I hit it to about 15 feet a bunch of times, and just wasn't able to make them (putts) as many times as I wanted.
"I'm just going to keep doing what I've been doing, have fun. I'm just going to keep trying my best and hopefully with the best results."
The big-hitting Woodland had a run of five consecutive birdies on his front nine, before adding three more after the turn to march up to the top of the standings.
"I learned how to play the game over the last year and a half," Woodland said. "I've got great people around me, great people mentoring me, and I'm starting to get there. I'm not anywhere close to where I want to be, but I'm on that road right now."
Scotland's Laird carded the joint-lowest round alongside Woodland, and his 64 after consecutive rounds of 68 took him to 16-under par and outright fourth.
Six birdies and an eagle lifted Laird to within two shots of leaders Vegas and Woodland, while Australia's Greg Chalmers is alone in third on 17 under after a 65 which contained seven birdies and no dropped shots.
Former Ryder Cup player Boo Weekley, who had shared the overnight lead with Vegas, fell back into a share of 11th after struggling to a level-par 72.
England's Brian Davis is a shot further back, and six off the pace, after returning a 71.