Vegas streak pays off
Laird stays two back after matching leaders
Last Updated: January 24, 2011 9:15am
Vegas: run of birdies
Venezuelan rookie Jhonattan Vegas birdied the final five holes on Saturday to join American Gary Woodland at the top of the leaderboard in the Bob Hope Classic in California.
Woodland and Vegas both shot 66s to set up a fifth-round showdown between two 26-year-olds, who also led after three rounds of the 90-hole pro-am event.
Scotland's Martin Laird remains two shots off the lead going into the final round after also carding a six-under-par 66.
Laird fired eight birdies and two bogeys - he has only dropped four shots all week - on the Nicklaus Course at PGA West, while Vegas and Woodland were at La Quinta and the Palmer Course respectively.
Vegas, Woodland and Laird will make up the final group on the Palmer course on Sunday. The ideal Palm Springs conditions, described by more than one golfer as playing in a dome, are likely to make near-perfection necessary to win.
"You know right from the first hole you've got to keep firing away," said Laird. "You can't play defensive golf... You've got to fire at flags. I don't know what it's going to take, but last year, 30 under won, and I would not be surprised if it was that or lower tomorrow."
Woodland agrees that birdies will be plentiful on Sunday.
And although this is unfamiliar territory for him in a PGA Tour event, the man from Kansas believes the ability to "stay in the moment" is key.
"You got to stay in the moment," the long-hitting Woodland said. "That's the main deal. Even if you have a six-shot lead, these guys out here on this golf course, that's nothing. You can make six shots up in four or five holes."
Defending champion Bill Haas jumped into a tie for fourth place with a 10-under 62 on the Palmer course to sit alongside Chris Kirk, Keegan Bradley and Daniel Summerhays on 21 under.