notes: Thompson goes 5 under in 3 holes - East Valley Tribune: Sports notes: Thompson goes 5 under in 3 holes

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Posted: Saturday, October 24, 2009 5:18 pm | Updated: 12:36 am, Sat Oct 8, 2011.

Call it the greatest three-hole streak in the history of golf. During Saturday’s third round of the Open, Nicholas Thompson went 5 under par on hole Nos. 11 through 13.

Call it the greatest three-hole streak in the history of golf.

During Saturday's third round of the Open, Nicholas Thompson went 5-under par on hole Nos. 11 through 13.

Thompson holed a 3-wood from 261 yards for double eagle on the par-5 11th hole. Then came the 13th, a 199-yard par 3. Thompson made a hole-in-one with a 7-iron.

He didn't see his second shot on No. 11 go in, but the reaction from the gallery told him he'd just made a 2. He saw the hole-in-one, his eighth, the whole time.

"I hit it flush and I hit it good," said Thompson, who finished the second round with a 5-under 65 and is five shots behind the leader.

Tournament leader Troy Matteson doesn't know the odds of Thompson's accomplishment, but he suggests he go back to Las Vegas, last week's stop on the PGA Tour, with that kind of luck.

On the 15th, the 332-yard par 4, Thompson hit his tee shot and playing partner Scott McCarron immediately started yelling for the ball to get into the hole. It was a joke, but the way things were going for Thompson, anything could have happened.

What was the best part of the round? Thompson didn't have to putt on either hole. He admitted he hasn't been real hot with the putter this week.

In all, there were three holes-in-one on Saturday on Grayhawk Golf Club's Raptor Course. Ted Purdy and Chad Campbell aced the 16th hole and then Thompson on the 13th. Because he was the first to ace the 16th, Purdy won a Mercedes Saturday.

Only one other time this year, at the RBC Canadian Open, were there more holes-in-one in one round. There were four during the second round of that tournament, and all of those golfers won BMWs.


That describes the round by 20-year-old Rickie Fowler. He made an eagle on the fourth hole then followed it up with a double bogey on the fifth. The second-round co-leader then worked his way back up the leader board and got to 14 under with a birdie on the 15th hole.

Fowler then made another double bogey on the 17th when his second shot flew long and settled in the desert. He had to take a drop and eventually made a six on the par 4.

"Adrenaline usually doesn't get the most of me," Fowler said.


Fowler isn't the only new face on tour making a mark this week. Jamie Lovemark, who turned professional in July, is playing in just his fourth PGA Tour event and playing just was well as Fowler.

Both are at 12 under and tied for fifth heading into Sunday's final round.

Fowler has been the talk of the tournament the first two rounds. Lovemark, with rounds of 69, 64 and 65, has steadily moved up the leader board.

"You have to shoot 4 or 5 under or you're going to get passed real quick," Lovemark said.

Both have the goal of getting PGA Tour cards as quickly as possible. Both have received several sponsors exemptions late in the year, but both are planning on going to qualifying school next week.

Unless, of course, one of them wins.

"It's either win or go to school," Lovemark said. "I have nothing to lose, so I'll be firing at the pins."


Tim Clark is in the hunt again. After a 65, the South African is just three shots back after three rounds.

Although he doesn't have a PGA Tour victory, he is the most seasoned of those on the leader board. Clark has won in Europe and played very well as a member of the International team at the Presidents Cup earlier this month.

Earlier this year Clark has a two-shot lead with five holes to play and eventually lost in a playoff to Steve Stricker at the Crowne Plaza Invitational in Texas. He has been a runner-up seven times.

Clark says three shots can be made up in Sunday's final round. A victory would be nice in Scottsdale, the place he now calls home.


Scoring was fantastic during Saturday's third round with 63 of the 77 players in the field turning in scores at par or better. The scoring average for the day on the par-70 course was 68.27.

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