Woodland grabs lead in Reno
Reno, NV (Sports Network) - Gary Woodland tallied 16 points on Saturday to grab a 7-point lead entering the final round of the Reno-Tahoe Open, where the Modified Stableford scoring system is in place.
Woodland, who is seeking his second PGA Tour win and first since 2011, has totaled 37 points through three rounds at Montreux Golf & Country Club.
"I feel good," Woodland said in a televised interview. "I've got a great mental game plan going into this week and I'm riding the momentum."
Brendan Steele picked up 17 points on Saturday to jump into second place with 30 points, while David Mathis used a 12-point round to grab third place with 29 points.
Overnight leader Andres Romero managed just five points and dropped into fourth place with 27 total points.
The Modified Stableford scoring system awards eight points for double eagles, five for eagles, two for birdies, zero for pars and subtracts one point for bogeys and three points for double bogey or worse.
Charlie Wi tallied six third-round points and slipped to fifth place at 25 points, while Dicky Pride leapt to sixth with 24 points after a 13-point effort. Rory Sabbatini earned eight points and moved into seventh place with 23 points.
Woodland began the third round a single point behind Romero, but he didn't trail for long. The 29-year-old parred the first, then chipped in for eagle at the par-5 second for five points, grabbing an advantage he wouldn't relinquish.
As Romero fell off the pace with five pars and two bogeys over his first seven holes, Woodland set about protecting his lead.
At the par-3 seventh, Woodland again chipped in from the rough, this time for birdie, and he made it two straight at the next to reach 30 points. He stumbled to a bogey at the ninth, but still made the turn four points ahead of the next closest competitor, Steele, who had 25.
Woodland grabbed two more points around the turn with a birdie at the 10th shortly before Steele put the finishing touches on an incredible closing stretch.
Steele racked up 15 points over his final six holes, carding five straight birdies from the 13th before closing with an eagle at the par-5 18th. The furious finish gave Steele 30 points for the tournament, but Woodland was still a stroke ahead and he wasn't done adding to his tally.
Woodland reached 33 with a birdie at the 13th, then dropped his approach within an inch at the par-4 15th and tapped in for two more to hit 35. He closed with another birdie at the last to push his advantage to seven points.
"I felt like I kept hitting good shots, just a little long here, a little short there, but overall the short game saved me today," Woodland continued.
NOTES: Woodland's lone PGA Tour win came at the 2011 Transitions Championship ... His best finish on the tour this season is a tie for 16th, which he accomplished three times, most recently at the AT&T National in late June ... Romero, who is from Argentina, is trying to become the first international champion of this event, which started in 1999 ... This tournament used the Modified Stableford scoring format last year for the first time. It was the first PGA Tour event to use the format since The International in 2006.
08/03 21:32:09 ET