Published 8/6/2011 in Pro-Am
By BRETT MARSHALL
In golf, they call the third round of a four-day tournament moving day.
Brad Nading/Telegram Derek Tolan, Highlands Ranch, Colo., drives a fairway shot to the green on Buffalo Dunes Golf Course's No. 3 hole Friday during the Southwest Kansas Pro-Am. Tolan is the leader going into today's final round.
Brad Nading/Telegram Todd Rossetti, Plano, Texas, chips on to the No. 9 green Friday at Buffalo Dunes Golf Course during the Southwest Kansas Pro-Am. Rossetti was leading the tournament at the turn for the back nine, but finished the day in second going into today's final round.
It has garnered that nickname for a reason. Players move up and down the leaderboard for position as they prepare for the final 18 holes of competition.
When the final scores were posted on Friday, there was only one name atop that leaderboard after 54 holes of the 2011 Southwest Kansas Pro-Am/Adams Golf Pro Tour Series.
Owning sole possession of first place is Derek Tolan of Highlands Ranch, Colo., whose 6-under-par 66 at Buffalo Dunes Golf Course moved him ahead of halfway co-leader Todd Rossetti of Plano, Texas, by just a single shot.
Tolan, making his third appearance at the Pro-Am, is at 15-under-par 200 with today's final round scheduled for the top half of the field at The Golf Club at Southwind. The leaders will be paired once again with amateur teams, as those final groups will be playing between noon and 1:20 p.m.
Defending champion Wil Collins is a 204 after a 69 on Friday. He shares fifth place with second-round co-leader Matt Boyd, who finished with a 71. The other halfway leader, Kane Webber of Denver, ballooned to a 79.
Playing a bogey-free round, Tolan came up with a consistent round of 33-33 on the 6,824-yard, par-72 Dunes layout, which was left somewhat defenseless again with no summer wind blowing. Dunes also yielded the tournament's lowest score, a 64, by Kenneth Coakley of Bluffton, S.C., who vaulted all the way to a tie for seventh at 205 with his 8-under.
But for Tolan, it was all about course management.
"I played really well, although I didn't feel that great getting out of the gate," Tolan said. "But I just kind of got things going and felt really good on the back nine."
His birdies on the front nine came at the third and ninth holes to turn in 34. It was then he found his groove and knocked in birdie putts at the 11th, 13th, 16th and 17th holes but it was deuce on the par-3 17th that really had Tolan pumped up.
"I made a 20-footer there after hitting a 7-iron," Tolan said. "It was playing just a little longer and we got a gust of wind into us when we hit there."
Sitting atop the scoreboard won't change how Tolan plans to prepare for today's final round.
"I'll just do the same things that I try to do when I'm home," Tolan said. "I'll hang out with some friends, get some good food, and then try to get a good night's rest and be ready to go. I feel great and I'm pretty excited about it."
For Rossetti, his 4-under 68 was one in which he said it could have been a little better, but also could have been considerably worse.
"I didn't hit it as well as I did in the earlier rounds, but I did manage to scramble and get a score in," Rossetti said. "I found myself hitting out of the rough quite a bit and I couldn't attack the pins like I did in the earlier rounds."
That didn't stop him from opening with a birdie on the 605-yard par-5, and then add birdies at the fourth (15-footer) and the par-5 fifth. On the incoming nine, he made birdie at the short, par-5, 13th, the par-4, 15th and finished off his round on the 18th with a five-foot putt after knocking it close from 90 yards with a wedge.
He made bogeys at the sixth and 14th holes, both par-4s.
"I managed to get a few good up and downs to save pars, too," Rossetti said. "When I got in trouble, I tried to play smart and it paid off. I'm very happy with the where I'm at."
Rossetti, who is playing in just his third tournament of 2011 after undergoing surgery to repair torn ligaments in his left thumb, said he was just going to try and be ready to go when he tees it up for the final round.
He stood two shots clear of Ben Cuzen of Durban, South Africa and Chris Ward of McKinney, Texas. Cuzen toured the Dunes in 5-under 67 while Ward fashioned a 66 to reach his 13-under total.
"I was just going along making pars for awhile," Ward said. "Then I got my first (birdie) on the fifth and that kind of started things for me."
He added a birdie at the seventh to make the turn in 34. He birdied the short par-5 13th before giving it back with his lone bogey of the day at the 14th.
That would set up what might be termed the blazing finish of the tournament.
He knocked a hybrid onto the par-5 16th with his second shot from 255 yards and then sank a 15-footer for eagle. He then birdied both the par-3 17th and the 18th.
"My game's really good right now," Ward said. "I'm not making too many mistakes. I got in a good rhythm today and I also played well (Thursday). I'm just going to try to stick to my game plan and see what happens."
See results in Scoreboard, Page D2.
With the better half of the 54 players who made the 36-hole cut playing on Friday at Buffalo Dunes Golf Course, it should come as no surprise that the stroke average went down as well.
The 30 players who toured the Dunes in nearly ideal conditions once again, making it three days in a row for the Pro-Am, averaged 70.86 as opposed to 72.12 on Thursday when all 104 players competed in nearly similar conditions.
Once again, the par-5s played the easiest at the Dunes with the fifth, 13th and 16th all playing to a stroke average of 4.53. The par-4 14th played the toughest at 4.26. The Dunes yielded just three eagles on Friday while there were 113 birdies. Players made 66 bogeys, six double bogeys and three "others."
At The Golf Club at Southwind, scores also went down, but not by as much.
The 24 players there came away with an average score of 71.09 on the par-71 layout.
The finishing holes of 18 and 17 were the toughest for the professionals, as the 18th played to an average of 4.37 and the 17th was at 4.29. Easiest holes were the par-5s on the front nine, with the fifth playing to an average of 4.41 and the third at 4.58.
There was just one eagle for the day at Southwind, while players added 79 birdies, 69 bogeys, eight double bogeys.
Super supers: If there was an award to be given out, then both Casey Sullivan at Southwind and Toby Witthuhn at Buffalo Dunes should be on the stand to receive one. The two superintendents at their respective courses have done an amazing job with their staffs to prepare the golf courses for the premier golf event of the season in western Kansas.
With drought conditions as bad as they've been in decades, the tees, fairways, greens and primary rough areas are all in top-notch condition.
Tour President: Gary DeSerrano, the president of Adams Golf Pro Tour Series, arrived in town Thursday afternoon just in time for the junior clinic at Buffalo Dunes.
An accomplished golfer and lacrosse player, DeSerrano was seen giving instruction to some of the 100-plus juniors who attended the clinic.
Found 1 comment(s)!
golf and water
how much water was wasted on the two golf courses in the last week
Posted by: bc on 8/6/2011