Overton holds off charging duo
DA Points and JB Holmes charged into contention at the Greenbriers Classic on Saturday – but Jeff Overton kept his lead.
DA Points and JB Holmes charged into contention at the Greenbriers Classic on Saturday after superb rounds – but Jeff Overton’s back-nine fight-back saw him take a three-shot lead into the final round.
Overton had thrown away some of his four-stroke overnight lead with bogeys at the second and fifth.
But he rescued a disappointing front nine with a birdie at the eighth and five birdies in six holes from the 12th.
But his was not the eye-catching round of the day.
Much of the pre-tournament build-up surrounded the possibility of a much-cherished round of 59 on the short Old White Course at White Sulphur Springs, and Points looked to be racing towards that 11-under-par mark for the day.
He made six birdies in a front nine of 28 and added four more by the 16th – leaving himself in sight of the landmark going down the par-five 17th.
The hole had yielded birdies for Points in each of his first two rounds but he dropped a shot on this occasion after missing a four-and-a-half-foot putt, and made par at the last for a round of 61 – nine under par, and good enough to lift him to 15 under overall and second place.
Holmes was even closer, carding 60 after 11 birdies and a solitary bogey at the third.
The back nine was where Holmes produced his best work, six birdies – including the final three holes – taking him home in 30 as he rounded things off neatly with a 10-foot putt at the last.
His mind lingered on other putts, though, such as the short birdie attempt at 11 which lipped out and an effort for eagle on 17 which looked on the money all the way.
“I hit some good putts on the back nine that didn’t go in so it’s a little frustrating when you look back and end up one short,” he said.
“It’s a great round no matter what. When you look back and there’s a three-footer you missed or even the eagle putt on 17 where you hit two good shots and then I hit the putt right where I wanted to.
“To end up one short is a little frustrating but I’ll definitely take it.”
The round left him 12 under and in a tie for fourth with Jonathan Byrd, Jimmy Walker and Brendon de Jonge.
Boo Weekley split the rampaging duo after birdying the last two holes for a 67 which left him 13 under, and alone in third place.
Australia’s Stuart Appleby was the sole overseas representative in a trio at 11 under after a bogey-free, five-birdie 65.
Americans Charles Howell III and Erik Compton – the two-time heart transplant patient who shared the lead after the first round – joined Appleby in eighth place.
Jim Furyk seems unlikely to make the move to the top of the FedEx Cup points table, but enjoyed another solid round to reach 10 under and a share of 11th. The veteran requires a top-two finish to overhaul Ernie Els at the FedEx summit.
In a tightly packed field, only a further three shots cover the top 60 players.
Lee Westwood on strong US Open start: ‘This course is gettable if you hit the fairways’
Lee Westwood reflects on his impressive opening round at the 120th US Open.
US Open day one: Rory McIlroy off to fast start as Justin Thomas takes the lead
McIlroy shot an opening round three-under 67 while Thomas carded a five-under 65.
Rory McIlroy flying high after opening round of US Open at Winged Foot
The Northern Irishman is two shots behind leader Justin Thomas, who shot a five-under-par 65 at Winged Foot.
A little more relaxation brings a little more action for Rory McIlroy at US Open
The Northern Irishman shot 67 on the opening day to sit two behind clubhouse leader Justin Thomas.
Prayers answered for Rory McIlroy as US Open hopeful makes speedy start
The Northern Irishman is two shots off the lead after an opening 67 at Winged Foot.
WATCH: Tiger, Rory, Rahm and DJ on what makes Winged Foot so difficult
Golf’s big buns give their thoughts on the tough test that lies ahead at the US Open.
WATCH: Social media star pays tribute to Mickelson with special US Open song
Take a listen to the most heartfelt and emotional song about Phil Mickelson ever created.
All eyes on USGA when the 120th US Open gets under way at Winged Foot
The fact that last year’s championship took place without controversy over the set up of the course was a welcome relief for the organisation.