Golf roundup

Ted Potter Jr. flirts with 59, grabs share of Pebble Beach lead

PEBBLE BEACH, CA - FEBRUARY 10: Ted Potter Jr. plays his shot from the eighth tee during Round Three of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am at Monterey Peninsula Country Club on February 10, 2018 in Pebble Beach, California. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
Ted Potter Jr. plays his shot from the eighth tee during the the third round of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am at Monterey Peninsula Country Club.

Dustin Johnson overcame a sloppy back nine by making a 10-foot birdie on the 18th hole at Pebble Beach for a 2-under-par 70 that gave him a share of the lead going into the final round of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.

Ted Potter Jr. shot a 62 at Monterey Peninsula and left wondering how much better it could have been. Potter, with virtually no one watching his round because the stars were at Pebble Beach on Saturday, was 11 under with three holes to play, needing only one birdie and two pars for a 59.

He bogeyed the last two holes, which at least was enough to tie for the lead.


‘‘I didn’t feel like I hit bad shots coming in there on the last couple, making bogeys there, but I just knew it was going to be tough coming in,’’ Potter said.

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Potter’s only PGA Tour victory was at the Greenbrier Classic in 2012. He missed all of 2015 with a severe ankle injury from stepping off a curb, and he worked his way back to the big leagues last year. Now he faces the biggest test — some wind at Pebble Beach, a share of the lead with the No. 1 player in the world.

They were at 14-under 201, and with more wind in the forecast — compared with virtually none the previous two days — this could be wide open.

Johnson is going for his second straight PGA Tour victory having won by eight shots at Kapalua to start the year. He also is virtually assured of being only the fifth player since the world ranking began in 1986 to be No. 1 for an entire year.

Jason Day, coming off a playoff victory at Torrey Pines two weeks ago, had a 69 at Pebble Beach and was two shots behind along with Troy Merritt, who had the lead until four bogeys over his last six holes at Monterey Peninsula for a 69.


Jon Rahm birdied his last three holes at Spyglass Hill and worked his way back into contention with a 70. He was in a group at 11 under that included 50-year-old Steve Stricker (70) and Patrick Rodgers (69).

Also in the mix was Phil Mickelson, though he made it harder on himself with a three-putt bogey on the 18th at Pebble Beach for a 72. Mickelson had gone 46 consecutive holes without a bogey, though he managed only one birdie Saturday at Pebble Beach.

Rory McIlroy’s debut in this tournament was a short one. He hit into the ocean with an iron on the par-5 sixth hole leading to bogey. He finished with a drive that bounced along the rocks left of the 18th hole, though he took his penalty drop, hit the pin with his third shot and finished with a birdie. No matter. He still managed a 72 and missed the cut by two shots.

Champions — Mark Calcavecchia birdied the last three holes to take a two-stroke lead over Bernhard Langer into the final round of the Boca Raton Championship.

Calcavecchia shot a 6-under 66 at The Old Course at Broken Sound, rebounding from bogeys on Nos. 14 and 15 with the birdie run.


‘‘Kind of really saved the day with that,’’ Calcavecchia said. ‘‘I'm super happy. I'm playing well and I can’t wait for tomorrow.’’

He made a 25-footer on the par-4 17th and set up a 3-foot putt on the par-5 18th with a chip after leaving an approach from the right pine straw to the right of the green.

‘‘I was so bummed out I bogeyed 14 because I really hit a beautiful shot,’’ Calcavecchia said. ‘‘And then to bogey 15, I'm like, ‘No, I'm playing too good, I can’t screw this up.’ Just like I hit a good shot into 16 and I decided I'm going to make this, this is ridiculous. And I just, sure enough, I just made it. So it felt good to talk myself into that and wheel that one in.’’

Langer, the 2010 winner in his home event, had his second straight 66. The 60-year-old German star won seven times last season, three of the victories majors.

‘‘I know the golf course well enough, it’s just a matter of hitting the proper shots,’’ Langer said. ‘‘It’s a golf course where it’s a shot-maker’s golf course, really. You have to hit fairways, and all the greens are elevated, and when you miss it, the ball runs off and it’s difficult to get it up-and-down. So, I'm focusing on hitting a lot of fairways and hitting a lot of greens.’’

Langer’s daughter Jackie is working as his caddie.

‘‘It’s fun having her on the bag, it’s great,’’ Langer said. ‘‘She always wanted to caddie and we felt this was a good one to do it.

Calcavecchia, 57, opened with a 64 for a one-stroke lead in the senior tour’s first full-field event of the season, and kept his two-shot advantage over Langer.

‘‘Obviously, as good as he is, by a mile our best player, he’s not going to have a bad day,’’ Calcavecchia said. ‘‘I'm not expecting him to shoot even as little as 2 or 3 under, I expect him to shoot 6 or 7 under. I've got to go out and I feel like I've got to shoot 6 or 7 under to beat him.’’

Calcavecchia won the last of his three senior titles in 2015. He won the 1989 British Open for one of his 13 PGA Tour titles.

Bart Bryant had a 64 to match Jerry Smith (67) at 10 under. Paul Broadhurst (66), Steve Flesch (68), and Michael Allen (68) were 9 under. John Daly followed an opening 67 with a 73 to drop to 4 under. Defending champion Scott McCarron was 2 under after a 69.

Charlie Rymer struggled again in his debut on the 50-and-over tour, shooting a 77. After playing the final six in 4 over Friday in a 75, he was 6 over on the first 11 in the second round.

European — Thailand’s Prom Meesawat took a two-stroke lead after three rounds with a 5-under 67 while England’s Lee Westwood went from a tie for first place to being out of the World Super 6 tournament in Perth, Australia.

Meesawat had a three-round total of 12-under 204 at Lake Karrinyup Country Club, with three golfers tied for second: American Sean Crocker (67), Australian Lucas Herbert (69), and Denmark’s Thorbjorn Olesen (69).

Westwood shot a third-round 78 to finish out of the top 24 that would have qualified him for match play Sunday.

The event is sanctioned by three tours: European, Asian, and PGA of Australia.