Mayfair two clear of Mickelson, Love at Quail Hollow

May 2, 2010


Charlotte, NC (Sports Network) – Billy Mayfair managed a one-under 71 Saturday to maintain the lead after three rounds of the Quail Hollow Championship.

Mayfair, a five-time winner on the PGA Tour, completed 54 holes at nine-under- par 207 at Quail Hollow to lead by two.

This is the seventh time Mayfair has held at least a piece of the 54-hole lead. Mayfair, who had to Monday-qualify his way into the event, won three of his previous six times in this position, but is winless in the last two.

Masters champion Phil Mickelson, who is playing for the first time since Augusta, also posted a one-under 71. He shares second place at minus-seven with Davis Love III, who carded a four-under 68 in round three.

J.J. Henry (71), Angel Cabrera (73) and Dustin Johnson (72) are tied for fourth at six-under-par 210.

Mayfair was steady at the start of his round with four straight pars. He birdied the par-five fifth to move to nine-under, but found water on the par- five seventh and made bogey.

That dropped Mayfair to minus-eight, where he briefly trailed Paul Goydos. But Goydos three-putted the ninth for bogey to drop back into a share of the lead at minus-eight.

Mayfair rolled in a five-footer for birdie on the 10th to regain the lead. After a tricky two-putt par on the 12th, Mayfair stuffed his tee shot inside six feet on the par-three 13th and drained that birdie effort.

The 43-year-old Mayfair stood at 10-under and led by three at that point. He parred the next two holes before tripping to a bogey on the 16th. Mayfair made par on the last two holes to lead by a pair.

“I feel real good. I think today was a big test for me,” Mayfair stated. “I kept it going for all 18 holes and still have the lead going into [Sunday]. I would have liked to make that putt on the last hole, but I hit a good shot in there.”

Mickelson was right there all day, but never could grab a piece of the lead. After a birdie on the first, he stumbled to a bogey at four. He sank a 12-foot birdie try at seven, but three-putted for bogey on No. 9.

The four-time major champion got up and down for birdie on 10 and did so again on the par-five 15th to move to eight-under. Mickelson missed the green at 17 and that led to a bogey, which left him two back.

“It was a difficult golf course today. It was much different course than it was in the morning,” Mickelson said. “Unfortunately, it was a lot harder and I didn’t quite have it today. I didn’t know where my ball was going, but I was able to control the misses and keep the ball in play.”

Love, who was born in Charlotte, had a bogey-free round to move into contention. Through 13 holes, he had posted one birdie and 12 pars.

The 46-year-old carded three birdies in a four-hole span from the 14th to jump to seven-under. Love found a bunker off the tee at the last, but managed to hit the green with his approach and two-putt for par to close out the bogey- free round.

Love hasn’t finished better than tied for 14th in six previous starts at this event.

Rory McIlroy fired a six-under 66, the low round of the day, to improve 41 places to a share of seventh at five-under-par 211. He was joined there by Jim Furyk (71), Goydos (73), Bill Haas (70) and Anthony Kim (70).

NOTES: Mayfair’s last victory was at the 1998 Buick Open…The last Monday- qualifier to win a PGA Tour event was Fred Wadsworth at the 1986 Southern Open…On what is known as “Moving Day” just nine players posted rounds in the 60s.

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