PEBBLE BEACH, US: Jim Furyk birdied six of the last eight holes to overtake Australian Matt Jones and grab a one-stroke lead after Saturday’s (Sunday in Manila) third round of the $6.8 million Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.
The 44-year-old American gave himself the chance to end a humbling streak of going winless in his past eight events when leading after 54 holes, not having converted a third-round lead into a US PGA Tour triumph since the 2010 Tour Championship, the most recent of his 16 tour titles.
Furyk fired a nine-under par 63, his lowest-ever round at Pebble Beach and one stroke off the course record, to stand on 18-under 197 with Aussie Jones, who finished with back-to-back bogeys, and American Brandt Snedeker each one stroke adrift.
“I really didn’t have any expectations. I wanted to come out and find out where my game was at,” Furyk said.
After playing the first three rounds over three different courses, the professionals and 25 celebrity teams that made the cut will play the final 18 holes at the famed par-72 Pebble Beach oceanside links.
The event is Furyk’s first of the 2014-15 campaign and the veteran credits his rest since the Ryder Cup with his success this week.
Furyk blasted out of a greenside bunker inches from the cup at the par-5 second and put his approach at the fourth two feet from the hole, setting up birdies at each.
He closed the front nine with a birdie and ran off three birdies in a row starting at the 11th, the last of them from 31 feet. He added six-foot birdies at 15 and 16 and closed with a tap-in birdie at 18 to seize the lead.