Toms seizes on Duke’s mess to lead Champions


DULUTH, Ga. — David Toms flipped the script Saturday on the Mitsubishi Electrical Traditional with a four-shot swing on the fifteenth gap and closed with pars for a 1-under 71 that gave him a two-shot lead over Ken Duke going into the ultimate spherical on the PGA Tour Champions.

Toms was at risk of falling two photographs behind when his lengthy birdie putt on the 14th went previous the opening and almost off the inexperienced. He made the 12-footer for par, after which seized on the massive mess Duke made out of the following gap.

Duke’s 20-foot birdie putt from above the opening had an excessive amount of tempo and trickled — and trickled some extra — till it picked up steam and rolled some 35 yards down the golf green. His wedge was too weak and rolled off right into a bunker, and he made triple bogey.

Toms rolled in his birdie putt and went from one behind to a three-shot lead.

Duke managed a birdie on the par-5 closing gap on the TPC Sugarloaf to salvage a 73 and saved him within the recreation. So many others are actually within the combine.

Toms was at 8-under 136.

Ernie Els completed with three birdies over his final 5 holes on the entrance 9 for a 68. He was a part of the group 4 photographs behind at 4-under 140 that included Jay Haas (69), Fred Couples (70) and Monday qualifier Mark Walker, who birdied the ultimate gap for a 72.

Steve Flesch (73) additionally was a part of the group at 140. He performed within the remaining group with Toms and Duke and was lurking till he hit a fats wedge on the seventeenth that did not attain the bunker, pitched on and missed an 8-foot par putt. He needed to accept par on the closing gap.

Toms shall be going for his third PGA Tour Champions victory. Amongst his 13 wins on the PGA Tour was the 2001 PGA Championship throughout the suburbs at Atlanta Athletic Membership.

Circumstances had been way more extreme than the opening spherical, which featured a rain delay. The wind was blustery and temperatures dropped, placing a premium on par.

That did not cease two-time U.S. Open champion Retief Goosen, who was 7 beneath on his spherical via 15 holes till closing on the entrance 9 with two straight bogeys. His 67 matched the low spherical of the day, and he was at 3-under 141, 5 photographs behind.

Additionally 5 again was Steve Stricker, in his second event since his return from a six-month layoff on account of an sickness that hospitalized him late final yr; and Miguel Angel Jimenez.

Duke did nicely to maintain bogeys off his card. His lengthy birdie putt on the 14th hit the pin and went over the lip. After which all of it went flawed on the fifteenth.

Even so, he was solely two behind and shall be within the remaining group as he goes for his first PGA Tour Champions title.

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