2002 Buick Invitational - 3rd Round Summary
Kelly, O'Meara, Lewis Lead - Six Others a Shot Back
by Martin Olivera

2002 Buick Invitational - Saturday Summary

"Moving day" ended with 19 players within five shots of the lead. Tiger Woods came back with a 69 in spite of a double-bogey on the 7th (his 16th) and trails by six. He moved from tied for 69th place to tied for 20th. Among those lurking is John Daly, whose 68 moved him up to a shot back. He moved from tied for 17th to tied for fourth. Co-leader Jerry Kelly shot the lowest round of the tournment so far, a 6-under 66, carding seven birdies and one bogey. "My highlight of the tournament has to be my wedge shot on 18 from 80 yards", said Kelly. He ended his round on a good note. Mark O'Meara credited part of his improved performance to a new driver. "I'm using a Titleist with 8.5 degree loft. I used to have a driver with 9.5. The new loft has a better launch angle for my tee shots". He hit 11 fairways, made 3 birdies and one bogey for a 70, in spite of hitting only nine greens in regulation. J.L. Lewis coasted to a 71 with a rollercoster round that included four birdies and three bogeys (two of them on par-5 holes).

The South Course continues to be part of the story: no players had a bogey-free round. The Santa Ana conditions with gusty easterly winds, a reverse direction from the usually prevailing sea breeze, provided extra spice to shotmaking. The historically toughest 12th played downwind today and was the 5th difficult. Toughest was the 4th (4.438) and the easiest was 6th (4.764). The course still averaged over par: 73.101 with only nine of 89 scores in the 60's.

The leading score moved only one shot with respect to par, from -9 to -10. Persistent Santa Ana conditions can produces high scores so anyone within 5 shots of the lead has a chance to win tomorrow.

Jay Williamson made the first ace on this renovated course. It happened on the 3rd, a 196-yard shot with a 7-iron. He shot 70 and is tied for fourth place.

San Diego Golf Pages | 2002 Buick Invitational