Trip to Reno is worth it for Ogilvy

Nick Watney of Dixon, Ca. lines up a putt on the 18th hole at the Barracuda Championship Friday.

Nick Watney of Dixon, Ca. lines up a putt on the 18th hole at the Barracuda Championship Friday.

Instead of skipping event, he’s the leader

RENO – After the Canadian Open, Geoff Ogilvy wasn’t going to come to the Barracuda Championship.

He is glad he changed his mind.

Ogilvy made two nice par saves on the back nine and birdied two of his final three holes en route to a 12-point Saturday and 35 total points after three days at Montreux Golf & Country Club.

Ogilvy leads second-round leader Nick Watney (32) and Jason Allred (32) by three points. Brendan Steele (30) is in fourth. John Mallinger, who had one of two aces on the day, is tied for fifth with Lee Janzen and David Lingmerth at 28 points. After a 16-point day, Michael Putnam sits in eighth with 27 points. There is a five-way tie for ninth place at 26 points with Jonathan Byrd, Justin Hicks, Greg Chalmers, John Huh and Bryce Molder.

Because of inclimate weather reports, today’s tee times will start at 8 a.m. from both the first and 10th tees. The leaders will tee off around 10 a.m. on No. 1.

Ogilvy registered seven birdies and two bogeys en route to what would have been a 67 in a stroke-play event. He has held or shared the 54-hole lead five times in his PGA career, and converted three of those into wins.

“I played quite well today,” Ogilvy said. “I birdied the par 5s I needed to birdie, which is important in this format, because birdies are so much better than bogeys. I don’t know, I had six or seven, seven maybe birdies, so that’s always good in this format.

“So I put some points on the board, which you have to, because there was some low scores this morning it looked like, or some high ones, however you want to put it.”

Two key holes for Ogilvy were the 12th and 15th when he made long putts to save par and stay within one of Watney.

“I drove it into the rough on 12, hit it in the greenside bunker, hit it out to 12 feet and made it, a putt breaking left to right. That was a nice one. I completely bladed my second shot over the back of the green and then hit a pretty poor chip and then made it (from 32 feet).”

He finished birdie, bogey and birdie.

Watney, who started with 18 on Thursday, has managed just 14 points the last two days.

“A little bit disappointed, to be honest,” Watney said. “Missed my share of putts. But I’ve got a chance tomorrow. Yeah, I’m hitting the ball great. If I can putt, I got a real chance.”

Allred, who started the day with 18 points, had six birdies and an eagle on No. 15 en route to a 14-point output.

“I felt really in control when I had a lot of things going well, good breaks and good putts went in,” Allred said. “I played a little tentative and careful, didn’t hit very good shots on 11, 12 and 13.”

Allred had bogeys on 11 and 12, but then birdied 14, eagled 15 and birdied 18.

“On 14, I went for the green (short par-4), had a great shot and made a nice birdie. And then the eagle on 15 (from 122 yards), a total bonus, especially in this format. It felt great to kind of right the ship, so to speak.”

Putnam climbed back into contention thanks to a 16-point day, which included seven birdies and an eagle.

He closed out the front nine with five birdies in a six-hole stretch, draining birdie putts of 6, 43, 5 and 13 plus a two-putt birdie on the par-5 8th from 46 feet.

On the par-5 13th, he hit an iron 210 yards to 7 feet and drained the putt.

Byrd, who scored 18 points in last year’s fourth round, scored 13 points with seven birdies and a bogey.

“It was a fun day,” Byrd said. “Got a little momentum. But I just played sharp today. It was one of my best rounds this summer, for sure.

“It was a nice, clean round. Made one bogey, one bad tee shot on 17, and putted well. Made some nice par putts and it probably was my best putting round in a while.”

Janzen carded seven birdies and a bogey en route to what would have been a 66. He credited the Stableford format for his mindset.

“I think the format, the idea of only losing a point on a bogey and you gain two points on a birdie, you just don’t seem to worry about par putts nearly as much as you normally do,” Janzen said. “So I’m thinking maybe I could secure that attitude through the stroke play events that I should not worry about some of the putts, and if you do make a bogey, who cares, you’ve got plenty of birdie holes left. “So that just seems to be the way things have worked out. I’ve made mistakes but I seem to come back and make birdies right away.”


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