WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. — Third-round action at the Old White TPC is underway and the morning groups featured some rapid climbers. I predict we’re headed for a 24-person playoff.
10:14 a.m. We’ll get to the guys killing it in a second, but first a “WTH?” for qualifier Brad Adamonis, who just left a par putt less than an inch short of the hole 15. Adamonis made seven bogeys Saturday, the same number he made combined on Thursday and Friday. He’s now 6-over for the tourney.
11:22 a.m. Gary Woodland just made the 616-yard, par-5 17th hole look short. Hit his drive 315, his approach 291 and sank a 39-foot putt for eagle. That took him to 7-under for the round and 8-under overall. His best finishes this year were at Phoenix Open, Memorial and AT&T National—all in 16th place.
11:36 a.m. Woodland gave back a stroke on the par-3 18th hole, hitting his tee shot into the rough before three-putting. “I was in between clubs and I tried to hit one hard and it kind of spun on me,” he said. “(Then) I just hit a bad putt.” … Still, he completed the morning round at 6-under 64, two shots back of leader Matt Every, who’s still on the range and won’t tee off for a couple hours.
11:39 a.m. Nick Whatney (-6) wraps up a 5-under 65. Wonder which has him more excited—his third round or the fact his beloved Sacramento Kings aren’t moving to Seattle?
12:13 p.m. Michael Kim, the 19-year-old amateur from Cal, capped a 3-under round with a birdie on 18. He doesn’t sound terribly enthused about starting fall semester next month: “Yeah, it’s going to be a little bit of a bummer playing on Tour and going back to college.”
12:27 p.m. Aussie Cameron Percy (-6) just finished a splendid 5-under 65 round. Considering he’s an ex-sports reporter, I wonder if he’s ever misquoted himself?
12:42 p.m. TRAINWRECK ALERT: Going to be hard for anyone to endure a worse hole than Erik Compton on the par-4 No. 7. Follow the bouncing ball on this catastrophe: tee shot into fairway bunker … bunker shot stays stuck in bunker … second bunker shot travels only 10 yards into the (gulp) rough … fourth shot carries 120 yards into (double gulp) greens bunker … fifth shot crosses the green onto the opposite rough (sunuva!) … chip shot out of fringe travels only 18 feet, leaving a whopping 21 feet to the hole (how long can this go on?) … first putt rolls within five inches of the cup (getting warmer) … tap-in for quadruple-bogey 8. (Victory is mine!)
1:27 p.m. TIE FOR LEAD: Swede Jonas Blixt birdies No. 1 and No. 2 to match Matt Every at 9-under. He lists his favorite entertainer as Robert Gustavsson—”the funniest man in Sweden”—which apparently is a hollow title.
1:33 p.m. THREE-WAY LEAD: Morgan Hoffman (-9) just owned No. 10 for his fifth birdie of the day. The 23-year-old Big 12 alum from Oklahoma State previously whacked a 354-yard drive on this hole though today’s tee shot traveled a modest 298.
2:01 p.m. NEW LEADER: Johnson Wagner—or is it Wagner Johnson?—just birdied Nos. 1 and 3 to move to 10-under.
2:14 p.m. Your second-round leader Matt Every is bumming right now—back-to-back bogeys to start the day. In a half-hour, he’s slipped from first to a tie for seventh. This is the epitome of a “fluid situation.”
2:23 p.m. Fans dreaming of a Tom Watson age-defying wonderment were chagrined to see him shoot 2-over today. “I need to get that putter working a little bit,” he said. “That putter’s kind of frustrating me right now. It’s not the greens, it’s my stroke. I’m not blaming the greens for anything. I’m just not getting the ball on the line or the speed that I want it to be.”
3:13 p.m. The Matt Every freefall is reaching terminal velocity. Four bogeys in his first seven holes, and he has slipped from the lead to a tie for 29th.
3:15 p.m. Pat Perez (-7) completes a 4-under round, and says shifting winds are primary reason course isn’t yielding ridiculous scores. (Those same winds are creating havoc for Bob Friend’s hair.) The highlight of Perez’s day came at No. 12 with a 16-yard chip from the rough for birdie.
4:52 p.m. Jonas Blixt is tied for third at 10-under despite admittedly having “no idea where my driver’s going.” That’s the exact feeling I’ve had about my driver since Day 1.
5:13 p.m. Hokies fans are loving Johnson Wagner—or is it Porter Wagner?—after his birdie on No. 18 left him at 14-under. Thanks to a 6-under 64, Wagner’s head will hit the pillow with a two-stroke lead over Jimmy Walker.