Daniel Summerhays fired a 7-under 64 Saturday and grabbed the 54-hole lead at the Albertsons Boise Open. Summerhays moved in front of the pack with a 17-under-par score, two shots better than Californian John Mallinger (64) and veteran Kirk Triplett (65).
John Kimbell, Keegan Bradley, Hunter Haas and second-round leader Peter Tomasulo share fourth place at 14 under, three back.
Four more players are at 12 under and still within striking distance heading into Sunday's chase for a first-place check for $130,500 that will go a long way in shaping the 2010 Nationwide Tour money list. The 25 leading money winners at the end of the year will earn their PGA Tour card for next year.
"I've been playing well all year and it's just a matter of time before one of these weekends is mine," said Summerhays, who is No. 17 on the current money list and could lock up a berth on Tour in 2011 with a win on Sunday. "Whether it's a bunched field or a spread out one, it's the same game."
The game is about putting this week. Shorter holes, perfect weather and very little wind have turned the Hillcrest Country Club into a pushover through 54 holes. Saturday's scoring average of 69.111 was the lowest single-round scoring average in the tournament's 21-year history.
Summerhays' 196 total ties the 54-hole tournament record, though none of the previous four players who posted such scores went on to win the event.
"I think a front is supposed to be coming in and hopefully the wind will get going. When the wind gets going on these firm greens it's going to be a treat," said the leader. "I think it won't be as much of a birdie fest and you'll have to really manage your game and be patient. I think I'm getting better at that every day."
So are his scores. After opening with a 67, Summerhays carded a 65 in round two and then one better in round three.
"I putted really well today," he said. "The putter was definitely rolling today. I hit it solid enough to score well to give the putter a chance."
Summerhays rolled in three consecutive birdies to open his day as he and others in the field put the chase on the leader, Tomasulo. Three birdies over his final four holes put a little distance between him and his challengers as head tires to win for the first time as a professional.
Summerhays owns the distinction of being the only amateur to win a tournament in the Nationwide Tour's 21-year history. Three summers ago following his junior year at Brigham Young University, Summerhays won the Nationwide Children's Hospital Invitational but couldn't accept the $126,000 first prize because of his status. He turned pro shortly thereafter but has yet to win since.
Among the closest to Summerhays is Mallinger, a member of the PGA Tour this year who barely missed out on the PGA Tour Playoffs for the FedExCup and is taking some time to sharpen his game until the Fall Series begins in a couple of weeks.
"I came out here just to play and stay competitive," said Mallinger, who tied for seventh at last week's Utah Championship. "I'm at a point now where I've got nothing to lose so I'm just going to go out there and fire at flags. I've got four or five events to play out there, but it would definitely help my confidence going into the next few weeks."
Mallinger closed with a flourish Saturday, playing the final five holes in 6-under par for a 7-under 64.
"Today I was looking at 6 or 7 (under) to get back into it,” he said. “Normally on the weekend the scores are going to level out a little bit so I thought if I could just get back to where they started (14 under), then I'd be there on Sunday."
Third-Round Notes: Kelly Grunewald was the first player off the first tee and played as a single because of an uneven number of players (63) making the 36-hole cut. Grunewald teed off at 8:06 a.m. and finished at 10:38 a.m. He shot an even-par 71. … John Mallinger shot a 7-under 28 on the back nine, matching the lowest 9-hole score on the Nationwide Tour this year. Mallinger is the seventh player to post a 28 in 2010. His 28 also tied the lowest 9-hole score in the tournament's 21-year history. Chris Zambri (2000) and Tripp Isenhour (2003) are the other players to shoot a 28 on the back nine in this event. … Bradley Iles had two eagles, giving him five in two days. Iles eagled the par-5 third hole and then holed out for an eagle at the par-4 15th. Iles eagled all three par 5s on Friday. His five eagles match the Nationwide Tour's all-time record for most eagles in a single event.
Daniel Summerhays tied the tournament's 54-hole record with his 196 total. Summerhays now shares the record with Rick Cramer (1996), Mario Tiziani (2006), Jim McGovern (2007) and D.A. Points (2007). It is interesting to note that none of those four players managed to win the tournament in those years. … The tournament's 72-hole record of 21-under-par 263 is held by 2007 winner Jon Mills. … The 293-yard, par-4 15th hole had three eagles Saturday -- Bradley Iles, Bobby Gates and John Mallinger, who holed his second shot from a greenside bunker. That brings the total to six eagles on the hole through three days. … Saturday's scoring average was 69.111 was the single-lowest single-round scoring average in the tournament's 21-year history. The previous low of 69.228 came in the third round in 1999.