Wiebe still on course

Mark Wiebe maintained his lead at the Dick’s Sporting Goods Open on Saturday thanks to a four-under-par 68.

Mark Wiebe maintained his lead at the Dick’s Sporting Goods Open on Saturday thanks to a four-under-par 68.

Wiebe, who led coming into the second round of the Champions Tour event, now lies at eight under and has a two-stroke advantage over fellow American John Huston, who shot a 70 on the day.

Jay Don Blake lies alone in third after a 68, a further shot behind Huston, while four players are tied for fourth a further shot back, and four off the lead – Joey Sindelar, Bobby Wadkins, Hal Sutton and Nick Price.

Dick Mast, Ted Schulz, Tim Simpson, Lonnie Nielsen, Ronnie Black, Peter Jacobsen, and John Cook are at 6 under, five off the lead with one round let to play.

Wiebe, who is chasing his second win in three weeks on tour, started well, sinking a long birdie putt at the second to take sole possession of the lead. Another birdie followed at the par-five fifth, and from there he stayed steady as many around him were dropping shots.

His next birdie came at the 16th, courtesy of a putt of more than 20 feet, and he very nearly added another at the 18th, as his birdie effort finished agonizingly close to the hole.

He completed his second consecutive bogey-free round, in contrast to his closest challenger, Huston, who had to scramble at times to keep it together on Saturday.

He started badly with a bogey at the par-five third, and then, after a birdie at five, he endured a nasty double bogey on the par-three seventh. A stretch of four birdies in five holes followed, however, to see him finish one shot back.

Elsewhere, Tom Watson lies at five under, six shots off the lead with one round to play and nearly 20 players between him and the lead.

His 67 on Saturday was a lot better than his opening 72, thanks to four birdies in his opening eight holes, and two more soon after the turn, but his charge was halted by the watar hazards at the 14th and 15th holes, where he ended up dropping three shots.

“I hit a bad 5-iron at the par-3 (14th). I just blocked it and it went in the water, but I did get it up and down,” Watson said. “Then the 15th hole I hit in the short cut (rough), kind of a sloppy lie, and I caught it fat. Hit a pretty good pitch up there to 6 feet but missed it for bogey.”

Watson, playing the En-Joie GC for the first time since 1976, feels he probably needed to go lower on the day.

“It was a pretty good round of golf, except for those two shots. I needed to get to at least 8 under par. Those two water balls kind of shot me out of it, I think.”