2014 U.S. Senior Open (The 14th of 26 Charles Schwab Cup events on the 2014 Champions Tour), Edmond, OK , July 10-13, 2014: Purse: $3,500,000; Oak Tree National, Edmond, OK , Par/Yards: 71/7,219 - Third-Round Notes – Saturday, July 12, 2014
Weather: Sunny and hot with highs in the upper-90s. Winds were from the SSW at 12-24 mph.
Current 54-Hole Leaderboard:
Gene Sauers 69-69-68—206 (-7) (pictured by Getty Images)
Bernhard Langer 69-69-71—209 (-4)
Scott Dunlap 69-68-72—209 (-4)
Colin Montgomerie 65-71-74—210 (-3)
Marco Dawson 66-76-69—211 (-2)
Vijay Singh 69-71-71—211 (-2)
Jeff Sluman 70-69-72—211 (-2)
Although he trailed by five strokes at one point early in the round, the deficit didn’t seem to bother Gene Sauers. The Savannah, GA, resident rebounded from a bogey at No. 1 to play bogey-free over his final 17 holes and now owns a three-stroke margin over Bernhard Langer and Scott Dunlap. Colin Montgomerie, the 36-hole leader, trails by four. A three-time winner on the PGA TOUR, Sauers birdied two of his last three holes and took the lead with a birdie putt of less than a foot at No. 16 and then added a 6-footer at No. 18 to close out his round of 3-under-par 68. Montgomerie led by as much as four strokes on the front nine, getting to 8-under-par after four holes, but he dropped five strokes over his next 10 holes to squander his lead. As many as five different players led or shared the lead before Sauers took control with his birdie at No. 16.
Gene Sauers has led a Champions Tour event just one time going into the final round and that was at the 2013 Insperity Championship where he and Mike Goodes would finish T2, losing in a playoff to Esteban Toledo. He won three of seven events when he was leading after 54 holes on the PGA TOUR.
Gene Sauers is bidding for his first win on Tour since winning the 2002 Air Canada Championship near Vancouver.
Gene Sauers would become the sixth player to make the U.S. Senior Open his first win on the Champions Tour. He’d join Roberto DeVicenzo (1980), Larry Laoretti (1992), Don Pooley (2002), Peter Jacobsen (2004) and Olin Browne (2011).
A victory by Bernhard Langer on Sunday would give him two consecutive major championship titles. He won the Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS Championship two weeks ago in a playoff with Jeff Sluman at Fox Chapel in Pittsburgh. It would also be his second U.S. Senior Open victory to go with his win in 2010. The last player to win two straight majors was Kenny Perry a year ago at the Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS Championship and the U.S. Senior Open. Perry later added a third straight when he won the Regions Tradition this year.
A victory would also be Langer’s fourth major title on the Champions Tour to go along with the 2010 U.S. Senior Open, the 2010 Senior British Open and the 2014 Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS Championship. He’d join Lee Trevino, Loren Roberts, Allen Doyle and Raymond Floyd with four major victories on the Champions Tour.
Bernhard Langer could also duplicate his fellow countryman Martin Kaymer with a win here. Kaymer won the 2014 U.S. Open at Pinehurst on the PGA TOUR last month. Two weeks ago Langer won the SENIOR PLAYERS matching Kaymer’s victory in THE PLAYERS Championship on the PGA TOUR.
The winner on Sunday earns a berth in the 2015 U.S. Open at Chambers Bay in Washington.
With double points available in the season-long Charles Schwab Cup race for the winner, Bernhard Langer could open up a very comfortable lead with a win or another player could climb right into the chase for the $1 million annuity that goes to the winner of the Cup. The winner will earn 1,260 points based on the first-prize check of $630,000. Langer leads with 2,362 points and is 882 in front of Jay Haas, who had to withdraw earlier this week. Colin Montgomerie is third with 1,283 points. Kenny Perry (1,232) and Jeff Sluman (1,067) are fourth and fifth, respectively.
Source: PGA Tour