PEBBLE BEACH -- Having twice won the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, Davis Love III knows only too well that to post a score at Pebble Beach GL you have to get it early. That's what he did Saturday with a birdie-birdie-eagle run on holes 2-4 that propelled him to an eventual 3-under-par 68, tied for the second lowest score of the week thus far.
Love made four birdies and an eagle overall on his first nine holes to go as low as 5 under par before giving two back. But he couldn't complain, especially after suffering a triple-bogey 8 on the 18th to finish his second round Friday, which put him right on the cut line.
"They're out there. It's just like the AT&T; you've got to get as many of them as you can before you get to eight," said Love, 46, who moved up 38 spots by the time he finished -- and could move up further as the day wears on. "Once you get to eight, you have to hang on, but the secret is not hanging on, but just going out and playing."
Putting has been an issue for players all week with the bumpy greens, but Love solved that riddle. He hit a wedge to 1 foot from 152 yards at No. 2, then hit a lob wedge from 77 yards to 3 feet at the par-4 third. He drove the green at the par-4 fourth, carrying a 3-wood to the front that left him a 20-footer. He nailed that for eagle.
Then, well, he hung on. But that had more to do with the wind, which began to kick up from the northwest, making the inward holes much longer and tougher. "It's a cold, heavy wind. You can't get the ball through it," the former PGA champion said. "I had to keep taking more and more club. And there are some hard pins ... 13-14-15. They're tough coming in. It's going to play hard coming in for everyone."
Love, who recently signed a three-year endorsement deal with RSM McGladrey, the accounting and tax consulting firm that is sponsoring the new fall PGA Tour event at Love's home course in Sea Island, Ga., is in the clubhouse at 4-over 217. Depending on what the leaders do later in the day, he expected to still have a chance at his second major title.
"Two times in the last five years 5 over has won it," Love said. "You have to figure you have an outside shot if you're anywhere around par."
-- *Dave Shedloski