Pro golf roundup

Four golfers tied for lead at Congressional

2013-06-29T20:00:00Z 2013-08-21T23:26:52Z Four golfers tied for lead at CongressionalThe Associated Press The Associated Press
June 29, 2013 8:00 pm  • 

Roberto Castro went from a share of the lead to five shots behind in three holes. He finished the third round of the AT&T National by hitting a 5-iron left of the 18th green and into the water. And he still managed to be part of a four-way tie for the lead.

"Wild day," he said.

Not just for Castro. It was like that for just about everyone Saturday at Congressional.

Bill Haas hit a wedge into the water and made triple bogey on the 11th hole to fall five shots behind. Four holes and three birdies later, he had the outright lead. He was helped by Andres Romero, who squandered a three-shot lead in two holes by hitting his tee shot into a creek.

With all that action, James Driscoll must have felt as if he missed out on all the fun. All he did was post his third straight round in the 60s to join the leaders.

Castro put the perfect finishing touch on a theatrical afternoon by taking his penalty drop from the water on No. 18 and chipping in from 80 feet for par. That enabled him to salvage an even-par 71 and claim a share of the lead with Haas (68), Driscoll (68) and Romero, who closed with six pars for a 70.

"Saving a bogey would have been huge," Castro said. "Making a par is just a bonus."

They were at 7-under 206, which means next to nothing — not with 10 players separated by three shots going into the final round, with seven of those players looking for their first PGA Tour victory.

Couples leads Senior Players: Fred Couples watched Kenny Perry relentlessly sprint up the leaderboard Saturday in the Senior Players Championship and figured it was time for his putter to start cooperating.

Three birdies over the final five holes restored some order as Couples took a step closer to his first victory of the season.

The Hall of Famer finished with a 3-under 67 and was at 15-under 195 at rain-soaked and toothless Fox Chapel, two strokes clear of the hard-charging Perry. Couples already has three runner-up finishes this season. He has no plans to make it four.

"If I go out and play well, I have a great shot at winning," Couples said. "I'm certainly not going to be thinking about second place."

It appeared that's all the rest of the field was playing for after Couples ripped off seven birdies in 11 holes of the second round Friday before a midafternoon downpour halted play for the day.

The deluge cooled off Couples a bit. He two-putted from 60 feet on the par-3 third when he returned to the course, then made five straight pars before finishing his round off with a birdie on the par-4 ninth for an 8-under 62.

Tying the record for the lowest score ever in a major on the Champions Tour should have provided Couples with some breathing room. Instead, Perry made it close.

Perry began the day as speck in Couples' rearview mirror before the Kentucky player made three birdies and an eagle over the final six holes of the second round for a 7-under 63. He backed it up six hours later with another flawless 63, using his length off the tee and a new putter to chase down the frontrunning Couples.

After a lethargic 71 in the first round left him frustrated, Perry switched putters to one with more loft hoping it would help keep the ball online on the soggy and cleat-marked greens.

The decision paid off handsomely as Perry set a tournament record for the lowest score in consecutive rounds. The combined 14-under 126 Perry posted in the second and third rounds is two better than the 128 Jack Nicklaus shot in 1990 when the tournament was held in Dearborn, Mich.

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