Mother Nature finally cooperated Saturday at the TPC Stonebrae Championship and the tournament did its best to get back on schedule. Fog and rain in the Northern California area caused six hours worth of delays the first two days, but Saturday was filled with sunshine as players went into a hurry-up mode.
When the dust finally settled and the sun went down, the 36-hole cut had been made and nearly half of the 70 who made the cut had completed Round 3.
TPC Stonebrae is hosting this event for the fourth year in a row, and former San Francisco 49ers great Jerry Rice is serving as tournament host for the third straight year.
A check of the leaderboard finds Tyrone Van Aswegen holding down first place. The 30-year-old South African reeled off three consecutive birdies on two separate occasions Saturday and currently stands at 10 under par through 14 holes.
Van Aswegen, who has made the cut in all five of his starts this season, made up ground quickly with three straight birdies to open Round 3. He then closed with three straight at Nos. 12, 13 and 14 before the horn sounded to halt play for the day.
Michigan’s Brian Stuard didn’t make a birdie in his 12 holes, but did chalk up a couple of eagles to reach 8 under par. Stuard eagled the par-5 third hole and par-4 10th hole, and is the first player this week to record two eagles in a single round.
Jim Renner is at 7 under with one hole to play and tied with Pepperdine grad Michael Putnam, who is in the final threesome and has also finished a dozen holes. Alex Aragon is at 6 under through 15 holes.
Monday qualifier Wes Roach had just enough daylight to close out a 3-under 67 and holds the distinction of being the leader in the clubhouse at 5-under 205.
Play was suspended due to darkness at 7:40 p.m. PT with 36 players still on the course. They will return to TPC Stonebrae at 7:30 Sunday morning and pick up where they left off. Officials are hoping to start the final round about 10 a.m. and are looking for a finish time of 5:00 p.m.
--A total of 70 players made the 36-hole cut, which came at 3-over-par 143. It was the highest cut in the tournament’s four-year history. The 70 players also represent the most players to make the cut since the event started in 2009.
--Defending champion Daniel Chopra missed the cut after posting rounds of 74-73--147.
--Charles Warren withdrew during the second round and did not return to finish play on Saturday. Jerrel Grow was disqualified for not signing his scorecard following the second round.
--Steve Elkington, making his first career start on the Nationwide Tour, shot scores of 79-74 (+13) and did not make the 36-hole cut. Elkington has made 566 career starts on the PGA Tour and won ten times, including the 1995 PGA Championship.
--Ryan Hietala aced the 171-yard second hole using a 7-iron. Hietala shot a 3-under 67 and was tied for 36th after two rounds.
--Diego Velasquez had the best round of the week with a 6-under 64 in Round 2. Velasquez is tied for first in fairways hit (24 of 26) after 36 holes. His 3-under 137 put him tied for eighth heading into the final two rounds.
--Luke List shot a 1-under 69 thanks to a 5-under 30 on his closing nine. List’s opening nine (back) included two bogeys and a quadruple-bogey 8. He was done in by an opening-round 76 and did not make the cut.
--Monday qualifier Michael Weaver, a redshirt junior at California, shot scores of 72-75 and missed the cut. Weaver, who had his father caddying for him, hit only 14 of 26 fairways during the first two days and had 33 putts each round. Weaver is redshirting this year as he pursues admission into Cal’s Haas School of Business after two strong seasons to begin his college career in Berkeley. Weaver played in 22 events his first two years and had a stroke average of 72.5. He tied for eighth at the 2011 NCAA Championship, the highest finish ever for an individual Cal players at the NCAAs.
--Lift, clean and place conditions have been in effect all week. This is the third time this year (in six events) that preferred lies were used (Round 1 and 2 at the Pacific Rubiales Colombia Championship and the Chitimacha Louisiana Open).
--The Nationwide Tour will take next week off before heading to Georgia for consecutive weeks. The Tour’s next stop will be the South Georgia Classic at Kinderlou Forest April 23-29.