Geoff Ogilvy ran off three straight birdies on the back nine and shot an 8-under 65 on Saturday to make the rest of the winners-only field at the Mercedes-Benz Championship feel like they were playing for second.
The wind switched directions, making Kapalua play entirely different. What didn’t change was the guy atop the leaderboard.
Leading by one shot to start the third round, Ogilvy played bogey-free for the second time in three rounds and wound up with a six-shot lead over Justin Leonard and D.J. Trahan as he tries to win the US PGA Tour’s season-opening event.
Leonard made eight birdies over his final 14 holes on his way to a 65, the kind of round that he thought would give him a chance to win. But he never had a good look at the leaderboard until he walked onto the 18th green and saw that Ogilvy was at 19 under.
“It was a little deflating, to say the least,” Leonard said.
Trahan was one shot behind Ogilvy and simply couldn’t keep up and shot a 70.
About the only thing Ogilvy did wrong was fail to convert three reasonable birdie chances on the closing holes, including the 18th, the only par 5 he failed to birdie in the third round.
He was at 19-under 200, the second-largest 54-hole lead at Kapalua behind David Duval in 1999.
Camilo Villegas had to scramble for a double bogey on the opening hole, rattled off eight birdies in a 10-hole span and somehow scraped together a 66. That still left him seven shots behind, along with Davis Love, Kenny Perry and Anthony Kim, who each had 68s.
Ernie Els had a pair of three-putts on the front nine, missed a birdie putt inside 4 feet and finished with 34 putts for a 73. The Big Easy started the day two shots out of the lead, and went into the final round as an also-ran, 10 shots behind.
AP, JOHANNESBURG,SOUTH AFRICA
Charl Schwartzel of South Africa had a hole-in-one on Saturday on his way to an 8-under 63 for a share of the lead after the third round of the Joburg Open.
Schwartzel hit a seven-iron 205 yards into the hole on the 12th at the Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club’s East Course, atoning for his double-bogey six at the previous hole.
Schwartzel’s 11-under 202 total put him in a tie for first with Andrew McLardy of South Africa and David Drysdale of Scotland, the overnight leader.
McLardy scrapped his way to a 69, while Drysdale birdied the 18th for a 71.