February 27, 2009

Van Pelt And Wilson Share Lead

After a bogey-save on No. 9, Bo Van Pelt managed a third-round three-under 67 which was good enough to let him share the lead with Mark Wilson

Van Pelt, who's best finish this year was a T-5 at the Hope Classic is looking for his first PGA Tour win.

Van Pelt, who's best finish this year was a T-5 at the Hope Classic is looking for his first PGA Tour win.

PLAYA DEL CARMEN, Mexico (AP) -- His tee shot stopped against a tree root in a scrubby area, Bo Van Pelt considered his options. He finally decided to try punching it back toward the fairway, then took a mighty whack.

The ball moved all of six inches.

Another punch and a beautiful pitch later, Van Pelt stood on the green waiting for a tap-in bogey and smiling.

Van Pelt shot a 3-under 67 on Saturday, enough to catch Mark Wilson for the lead at the Mayakoba Golf Classic. Wilson shot a 1-under, leaving both at 11-under 199 through three rounds of the PGA Tour's annual stop south of the border.

Briny Baird shot a 3-under to get within a stroke, putting him in Sunday's final group with Wilson and Van Pelt at the 6,923-yard, par-70 El Camaleon course designed by Greg Norman.

J.J. Henry shot a 1-under and was another stroke behind.

Kevin Na, who opened the day tied with Wilson atop the leaderboard, shot a 2 over and was among those tied for fifth at 202, along with Jarrod Lyle and Chris Riley.

Greg Owen and Scott Verplank each shot 5-under, sending them from tied for 22nd to tied for eighth.

Gary Woodland had the lowest round of the day, a 7-under that put him at 6-under for the tournament, tied for 12th.

Van Pelt's nice save for bogey on No. 9 followed a birdie that he was hoping would jump-start a round that had been filled with pars. He got on a little roll on the back nine, with three birdies in four holes. He caught Wilson with a birdie on 15, then needed another on 16 to keep pace after Wilson chipped in from the fringe. Van Pelt also made a tough par save on No. 17 after his approach rolled way down the side of the green.

On the 18th hole, Van Pelt -- who is a head taller than Wilson, and probably a bag full of clubs heavier -- boomed his drive 30 yards past Wilson's and right down the middle. After knocking his approach about 25 feet past the pin, he was so sure his birdie putt was going to fall that he started breaking into a big fist pump. When the ball scooted a few inches past the cup all he could do was laugh at his premature celebration.

Wilson's round had a lot less drama.

He had two bogeys, then followed with birdies on the very next hole both times. His only other notable hole was the chip-in on No. 16.