Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Jimmy Gunn four ahead when play halted in Bahamas

GREAT ABACO, The Bahamas – Dornoch's Texas-based Jimmy Gunn was 13-under for the week through eight holes of his third round at The Bahamas Great Abaco Classic at The Abaco Club on Tuesday afternoon when play was suspended for the day at 5:48 p.m. due to darkness.
Gunn, as well as the other 68 players who made the 36-hole cut, will return to the course at 7:30 a.m. on Wednesday morning to resume third-round play before continuing into the final round with their same groupings.
The Bahamas Great Abaco Classic was suspended due to darkness during Sunday’s opening round, and then greeted with a five-hour delay on Monday morning due to wind gusts in excess of 40 mph and area storms that moved over Great Abaco.
With the tournament in catch-up mode, players returned to the course at 7:00 a.m. on Tuesday morning to finish their second rounds, which is when Gunn ascended to the top of the leaderboard.
The Dornoch native, playing in the final threesome of the second round, birdied Nos. 11, 13, 14 and 16 to round out a second-round 66 and a 10-under 134 total at the event’s halfway point – good for a two-shot lead over Marty Dou of China and Ben Kohles of Cary, N.C.
“I probably got the best wave going early and then late,” said Gunn referencing the benign Tuesday conditions after completing his second round.  “You have to flight your ball and pick your shot. If you start getting your ball up in the air, that’s when you start getting into trouble.”
The three players were paired together in the final third-round grouping at 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, and Gunn picked up right where he left off earlier in the day.
The 36-year-old parred Nos. 1 and 2 before converting an unlikely 35-foot birdie putt from the front of the green on the par-4 third to vault to 11-under for the tournament. Gunn added a birdie at the fifth, then on the par-5 eighth, he two-putted for his third birdie of the round to reach 13-under par shortly after play was halted for the day.
“There’s a lot of golf left, but I’m going to keep on doing what I’m doing and playing aggressively and we’ll see how things go the rest of the week,” said Gunn.
Gunn played the Tour full-time in 2014 and 2016, recording 43 total starts and two top-10 finishes – including a career-best T6 effort at last year’s Servientrega Championship presented by Efecty.
His lone US PGA Tour start came at the 2015 U.S. Open at Chambers Bay, where a brief appearance on the front page of Thursday’s leaderboard gave way to a T27 finish.
Gunn has employed a new caddie after good friend Brock Mackenzie was forced to withdraw from the week due to injury. With Tim Atsiedes on the bag, Gunn has kept an aggressive-yet-upbeat attitude that has paid nothing but dividends with 28 holes to go.
“I’m good friends with Brock, so I texted him to make sure he’s okay and everything. I said, ‘If this guy has made plans to come here and has already spent the money, I’ll use him so he’s not stuck here trying to find somebody.’ He’s been great. He’s a good caddie, he knows exactly what he’s doing and I’m lucky to have him.”
Kohles and Andrew Landry are tied for second, three shots back of Gunn at 9-under par.
Kohles, a two-time Tour winner and former PGA TOUR member, moved within one of the lead after a birdie at the par-5 first before dropping back to even par on his third round with a bogey at No. 3.
The 26-year-old rebounded shortly thereafter, birdieing the fifth to return to 1-under on the day and 9-under for the week.
Landry, playing in the penultimate threesome, had one of the day’s best rounds in tow, posting birdies on Nos. 1, 5, 7 and 8 to reach the 9-under-par mark before officials blew the horns.
Dou, who is even par through seven holes, is in solo-fourth place at 8-under par.
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