John Daly thrilled the crowds Saturday as he fought back into contention with his new 0-iron at the third round of the Kemper Open at Potomac, Md., putting pressure on a quartet of non-winners who topped the leaderboard.
Jay Williamson birdied No. 18 with a 5-foot putt to cap a 3-under-par 68 for a 201 total, one shot better than Steve Stricker and David Toms and two over Brad Fabel on an overcast day at the TPC at Avenel.
Daly (68) and Gil Morgan (70) were both three shots back. Huge galleries followed Daly to get a glimpse of his new club, which has virtually no loft, and he hit it 270 yards-plus off the tee to set up birdies at Nos. 6 and 16.
“I think my putter has more loft,” said Daly, who named the club himself and is using it for the first time this week.
The crowds watching Daly got a bonus as they saw Toms shoot a 66 that included a 30-foot birdie putt at No. 9 and a 35-footer to pick up another stroke at 18.
At Nashville, Tenn., Isao Aoki held onto his lead by shooting a 4-under-par 68, keeping him a stroke ahead of Hale Irwin after two rounds of the $1.2 million BellSouth Senior Classic.
Aoki started the day with a two-stroke lead and finished with a two-day total of 12-under 132 by turning in five birdies and one bogey.
Irwin shot a 66 and was at 133 followed by John Jacobs, who had his best round as a senior at 66 and a total 134.
Rosie Jones shot a 1-under-par 71 and fought off a charge from Val Skinner to maintain a one-stroke lead after three rounds of the $600,000 Corning (N.Y.) Classic. Skinner shot a 66 in coming back from a six-shot deficit.
Clarkston’s Robin Walton shot 70 and is 10 strokes back at 217. Tracy Hanson of Rathdrum, Idaho, shot 75 and is at 219.
Laura Davies came away with $40,000 as the first-day leader over the opening nine holes of the LPGA Skins Game, the sixth annual made-for-TV competition. But only $80,000 of the $210,000 was won and, with a $130,000 carryover, today’s first hole is worth $160,000.
In Virginia Water, England, Masters champion Nick Faldo, Zimbabwe’s Mark McNulty and Italy’s Costantino Rocca tied for the lead after the second round of the Volvo PGA.
Faldo had a 69 while McNulty shot a 68 and Rocca a 67 to join him at the 8-underpar 136.
Arizona freshman Maria Baena won the individual title with a 296 for 72 holes, and then eagled the 18th hole in a sudden-death playoff with San Jose State to give the Wildcats their first NCAA Women’s Golf Championship at La Quinta, Calif.
Subscribe to the sports newsletter
Get the day’s top sports headlines and breaking news delivered to your inbox by subscribing here.