Sunday, September 08, 2013



In the third round of the Chiquita Classic, the second event in the Tour Finals, John Peterson and Andrew Svoboda are tied for the lead at 10-under.

By Joe Chemycz, Tour staff
DAVIDSON, North Carolina – John Peterson and Andrew Svoboda took their foot off the gas, stayed patient on a difficult day and eventually moved into a share of the 54-hole lead at the Chiquita Classic, the second of four Tour Finals events.

Peterson, who has been on a tear for two months, chalked up five birdies on the back nine at River Run Country Club and matched the day’s best round with a 5-under 67 that put him at 10-under after three rounds. Svoboda closed with back-to-back birdies for a 3-under 69 that gave him a piece of the lead.
Texan Troy Matteson (67), Tennessee’s Peter Malnati (69) and second-round leader Greg Owen (71) of England are tied for third place, one shot back.
Six players – Brendon Todd (68), Ricky Barnes (69), Ben Martin (69), Vaughn Taylor (70), Hudson Swafford (71) and Will MacKenzie (72) – are three off the pace and tied for sixth place.
The Finals feature a blend of Tour and US PGA Tour players vying for 50 US PGA Tour cards and positioning for the 2013-14 season that starts in October.
“I just stayed out there and my caddie told me just to stay patient,” said Peterson, who turned the front nine in even-par. “I don’t usually do a good job of that but I did it today and it came around for me on the back.
It came for Peterson because the former LSU All-American started hitting crisper shots off the tees and from the fairways.
“I was hitting good shots on the front and a bunch were in that 10- to 12-foot range,” he said. “I kept hitting it close and finally hit it close enough where it was hard to miss. I can make it from three feet, I just couldn’t make it from 10 feet today.”
Svoboda, winner of the Price Cutter Charity Championship last month, has been following a script similar to Peterson's this week -- plenty of fairways and plenty of greens.
The co-leaders have each hit 30 of 42 fairways off the tee and are T2 in that category, and both rank in the top-10 in greens in regulation.
“Anywhere around the lead is nice,” said Svoboda, a St. John’s grad. “It was really nice to finish with those two birdies.”
Following a 20-foot birdie at the par-3, 17th hole, Svoboda chose to lay up on the dogleg closing par-5 that is guarded by water down the right side.
“It was between a 3-wood and a hybrid for me,” he said. “I had 240 to the hole and hitting a 3-wood off a downhill lie just wasn’t good for me. I wasn’t sure I could get that one up in the air off that lie.”
His patience and strategy paid off with another birdie chance from 18 feet, which he rolled in as well.
The leaders will be grouped with two-time PGA TOUR winner Matteson in the final trio Sunday and the former Georgia Tech standout is happy to be within shouting distance of first place.
“On this course you’d rather be ahead,” he said. “This is not one where you can shoot nine or 10-under and catch back up. This is kind of a ‘steady Eddie’ course. It’s just very difficult to shoot a low number.”
Russell Knox from Inverness, the only Scot in the field, is lying T32 on 214 after rounds of 70, 74 and 70.

• The Tour Finals will result in a total of 50 players gaining PGA TOUR cards for the upcoming season. The co-leaders have different objectives. Peterson is trying to secure a spot while Svoboda is jockeying for position in the group of 50.
• Owen (71), Michael Putnam (69) and Scott Gardiner (69) all carded bogey-free rounds Saturday.
• Aaron Watkins made a hole-in-one on the par-3, 4th hole Saturday. Watkins used a 9-iron to ace the 158-yard hole. It was the second ace this week -- Marcel Siem, R2. Watkins posted a 4-under 68 and is tied for 19th place at 4-under 212. He is 6-under on the par-3s this week and leads the field in that category. • Hudson Swafford leads the field in driving accuracy - 33 of 42 fairways/78.6 percent.
• Peter Malnati leads the field in putting with 76 total putts through three rounds - an average of 25.3 putts per round.  





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