WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. (AP) — Jeff Overton saw J.B. Holmes and D.A. Points flirt with 59s, then rode his own hot finish to move within a round of his first PGA Tour win.
Overton overcame two early bogeys for a 4-under 66 on Saturday and a three-stroke lead over Points at the Greenbrier Classic.
Overton didn’t realize his four-shot lead was gone until after Points made a barrage of birdies to jump ahead by three strokes.
“If anything it might have helped me because I was like, ‘Geez, what are you doing here, Jeff?'” Overton said. “Here he is three shots up. I was like, ‘All right, we’ve got to get something going here.’ I kind of buckled in and made some putts.”
Overton made five birdies on the back nine of the Old White course to move to 18 under through three rounds in the inaugural tournament.
The 27-year-old Overton kept the lead despite the low rounds of the year from Points and Holmes, but their dreams of making history with 59s ended on the 572-yard 17th.
Points three-putted for bogey, finished with a 61 and is alone in second at 15 under, and Holmes couldn’t convert a 10-footer for eagle at No. 17 and shot 60.
Boo Weekley shot a 67 to reach 13 under, and Holmes is in a four-way tie for fourth with Jonathan Byrd (64), Brendon de Jonge (65) and Jimmy Walker (67) at 12 under for the tournament.
Holmes was among 17 players who made the 36-hole cut on the number. He looks to repeat the performance of Carl Pettersson, who a week ago also made the cut on the number at the Canadian Open, shot 60 in the third round and eventually won by a stroke.
“You know it’s possible,” said Holmes, whose two PGA Tour wins came at the FBR Open in 2006 and 2008. “Maybe I get hot two days in a row and shoot 60, 60.”
Overton didn’t come close to matching the 62 he shot Friday, his best round of the year. He led Weekley by four shots to start his day but bogeyed Nos. 2 and 5. By then, Points had taken over with nine birdies over his first 13 holes.
Despite difficulty finding greens in his round, Overton answered with five birdies down the stretch, including short putts at Nos. 16 and 17.
Overton, a former Big Ten player of the year at Indiana who joined the PGA Tour in 2006, is having his best season with four top-five finishes. He’s 12th in FedEx Cup points and could jump to No. 2 with a victory.
Points, also seeking his first win, admits thinking about a 59 after holing an 11-foot putt at No. 16. But those thoughts were short lived.
His second shot on No. 17 found a greenside bunker, where he had an awkward stance and blasted out to 28 feet. His birdie attempt was well short and his 4-footer for par slid past.
Points still had a chance to become the fifth player to shoot 59 on Tour with a hole-in-one at the 148-yard 18th, a rare par-3 finishing hole. His tee shot safely found the middle of the green and he made par.
“A little disappointed at first, and fun while it lasted,” Points said. “But, you know, it’s one of those things that I think we all have opportunity for stuff like this. There’s been a couple guys, and there’s going to be somebody (Sunday) that will probably have an opportunity.”
Holmes, who had 11 birdies and a bogey, went driver-9 iron on No. 17 but watched an 11-foot eagle putt slide to the left. He birdied the par-3 18th for his 60.
Because 85 players qualified for third-round play, the field was cut to the low 70 and ties for Sunday, a policy the PGA Tour implemented two years ago to avoid two-tee starts and long weekend rounds.
Ricky Barnes, who shot 68 Saturday and was at 4 under, was among eight players failing to make the final round.
Among three golfers tied for eighth place at 11 under is double heart transplant recipient Erik Compton, seeking his first top 10 Tour finish.
“Right now I’m pretty far back,” Compton said. “I just need to go out and have a round like J.B. had. Just got to get hot.”
Given the day Holmes and Points had, anything’s possible.