Michelob Championship
Michelob Championship
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Jobe takes over lead with 65

Brandt Jobe was midway through his round and scrambling to make pars in the Michelob Championship when he saw that Billy Mayfair had pushed the lead to 13 under.

A short while later, another glance gave Jobe hope.

"The next time I looked, I saw it was back down to 11 and I was 8 or 9 (under) and I thought a few birdies would at least give me a chance," Jobe said Saturday after a sizzling finish.

Jobe shot a 6-under 65, making four birdies in a row to finish his round and five in the last six holes, to take a one-stroke lead. He's at 13-under 200 after three rounds on the River Course at Kingsmill, with Mayfair one back after a 68.

On a day when second-round co-leader David Duval tumbled seven shots behind with a 74, Jobe had the round of the day, putting him in position to validate his nine career victories overseas.

"I want to win out here to prove that the things I did in Japan - you know, they were good," he said. "I think that's why we're all out here."

Besides the leaderboard watching, Jobe said a bogey on the par-4 12th hole helped get him back on track, and that produced the big finish.

"That was kind of a good wake-up call that I need to get focused," Jobe said. "I didn't expect to finish like that, but I'll take it."

Anyone would have on another day when the thick, nasty Bermuda rough turned Duval and others into hackers and made making a move difficult.

One three players were bogey-free, none among the top six.

Geoff Ogilvy shot a 66 to join 1996 winner Scott Hoch (67), Charles Howell III (68) and Corey Pavin (68) at 10-under 203. Steve Flesch (66) and Hidemichi Tanaka (71) were 8 under. Six others were at 206.

Mayfair played the first eight holes in 4 under, gave two back on the ninth hole and played the back nine in a steady 1 under despite conditions that he and several others said are starting to resemble U.S. Open fare.

"The golf course isn't as long as a U.S. Open is, but you have high rough, penalizing rough and very hard, fast, crusty greens," he said. "That's the U.S. Open, and putts are hard to make, that's for sure."

Ogilvy was the big mover among the chasers, even though he bogeyed the last hole when he almost hit into the pond on his tee shot. He bent his sand wedge hitting out of the thick rough and scrambled to make 5.

"It's that sort of course," Oglivy said of the 6,853-yard layout. "If you're on the fairway, it's probably one of the easiest courses we play, but if you're off the fairway, it's probably one of the harder courses we play because the rough is brutal."

Pavin, winless since 1996, actually held the lead at 12 under for a time, but finished 2 over on his last five holes.

Hoch had the conditions he likes the most, with the temperature pushing 90, searing sunshine and little breeze for much of the afternoon. But he, like most everyone, also had to overcome a stumble to stay near the top.

His came on the par-4 11th, when he pulled his drive to the lip of a bunker and tried to make up for it on his next shot. He took double bogey.

"It's one of those things you try to make up for a poor and unlucky shot and it cost me, so I ended up taking my medicine," Hoch said.

For Duval, who arrived here having rediscovered his passion through his Ryder Cup experience last week in England, the day was a disaster.

He spent much of his round playing second shots out of the rough, and demonstrating how hard it is to get the ball to the green from there. When he had them, birdie putts often slipped by the hole on either side.

Mayfair played with Duval and was near perfect through eight holes, including a fairway wood that he hit to about 6 feet on the seventh hole. He made the eagle while Duval bogeyed, creating a quick three-shot swing.

But at No. 9, with the pin set far left on the narrow green, Mayfair's second shot rolled through the green. He chunked his first chip without reaching the surface, hit the next about 6 feet past and two-putted.

"It's a sucker pin, and I guess I was a sucker for it," he said.


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