Garrigus leads Tournament of Champions
Robert Garrigus recovered from an atrocious start yesterday by holing a 50-foot eagle putt on the 18th hole to join Steve Stricker and Jonathan Byrd in the lead at the Tournament of Champions in Kapalua, Hawaii.
In the notorious Kona wind — the toughest at Kapalua — Garrigus chunked a 4-iron into a hazard to open with double bogey and followed with a bogey to quickly fall out of the lead. By the end of the third round, he was back where he started.
The eagle gave Garrigus a 4-under-par 69 and gave him a good chance to become the first player since Tiger Woods in 2000 to win the season opener after winning the final event of the previous year.
Stricker turned an impossible lie into an unlikely birdie on the 12th hole, avoiding a loose piece of grass behind his ball in the bunker by hitting a 4-iron to 5 feet. It was part of five straight birdies that carried him to an 8-under 65.
Byrd, who has been around the lead all week, was steady as usual. He nearly holed a wedge on the 16th and settled for a tap-in birdie, but his pitch to the 18th was just long enough that it trickled down a slope and rolled 50 feet away. His two-putt par gave him a 67. All three were at 18-under 201, three shots clear of Carl Pettersson, who had a 71.
European Tour — British Open champion Louis Oosthuizen bogeyed his last hole in East London, South Africa, to fall into a tie for the lead at the Africa Open with Markus Brier heading into the final round.
Oosthuizen had a 4-under-par 69, while Brier, who bogeyed the 16th, shot a 70 as they finished the third round at 13-under 206, a stroke ahead of defending champion Charl Schwartzel and three others on a packed leaderboard. Twelve players were within three strokes of the leaders.