Quinney holds on to lead at FBR Open

Updated: 22 March 2007 06:37 IST

US PGA Tour rookie Jeff Quinney held on to a two-stroke lead in front of a raucous, near-record crowd of 162,750 in the FBR Open on Saturday.

Quinney holds on to lead at FBR Open

Scottsdale:

US PGA Tour rookie Jeff Quinney held on to a two-stroke lead in front of a raucous, near-record crowd of 162,750 in the FBR Open on Saturday. Quinney, the 2000 US Amateur champion, shot a 3-under 68 to stand at 16-under 197 heading into the final round on Sunday. Australia's Aaron Baddeley was second at 14 under after a 64, and Brett Quigley (66) and Bart Bryant (68) were three strokes back. Quinney, a top-10 finisher in the last two events, earned his tour card after toiling for five seasons on the Nationwide Tour. He tied for fourth two weeks ago in the Bob Hope Classic and tied for seventh last week in the Buick Invitational. Three-stroke lead He entered the third round with a three-stroke lead and was still up by three at 17 under before bogeying the final hole. He just cleared the water on the 438-yard, par-4 18th. He followed with a nine-iron shot over the green, then missed a 14-foot putt for par. Quinney had six birdies and three bogeys on the sun-drenched, 7,261-yard TPC Scottsdale course, where the big crowd was shy of the record 168,337 who watched the Saturday round last year. He calmly dealt with the huge galleries that created gridlock along the pathways and, especially, at the beer stands. "Basically, it's there. It's just your choice how to handle it," Quinney said. "I choose to have fun with it and embrace it, and people are there to have a good time. They want you to succeed, and they're behind you." Only about half as many spectators are expected on Sunday, when playing it safe is no option for Quinney in this birdie-strewn tournament. "It's going to be a blast," Quinney said. "You can't go home and protect it. Guys are going to be firing at you. I haven't really seen the scores today but I kind of expected somebody to go low. The greens are perfect, the weather is perfect. I can't just go out there and shoot par, I've got to make birdies." Ready for shootout Quigley said he's ready for a shootout. "Yeah, I'm going to go fire at everything,'" he said. The most rowdy part of the tournament is the par-3 16th, where some 12,000 fans surround the hole, singing, chanting, cheering and booing players as they pass through. It's a hometown final because the 26-year-old Baddeley also lives in Scottsdale, as do many other pro golfers. "We're neighbors," Baddeley said. "On different tours you sort of don't get to catch up, but I'm sure when we're here on the same tour, we'll be able to catch up more. It's his first year. I think we'll be able to catch up more and see each other and be able to play more when we're home because our schedules are going to be closer. Baddeley and Troy Matteson had the lowest third round at 7 under. Matteson was six back at 10 under.

Topics : Golf
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