SEASIDE, Calif. -- Rich Berberian Jr. was hoping to play well enough in brutal conditions at Bayonet in the third round of the PGA Professional Championship on Tuesday to give himself a chance at the title on Wednesday.
Berberian, the 2016 PPC Champ from Vesper Country Club in Tynsborough, Mass., carded a solid 2-under 70 that ended with a 15-foot birdie putt at the last.
That got him to 1 under for the tournament.
"I wasn't thinking about shooting under par, but I wanted to stay close," he said. "I saw Michael Block was 4 or 5 under after 9 holes and it seemed like it was doable. But I was just trying to really stay patient and wait to start making some putts. I made a few today, but hopefully they're all coming tomorrow. That was the point today -- to stay in it and have a chance."
Berberian, who tied for fifth in his title defense a year ago in Sunriver, had five birdies and three bogeys in Round 3.
"I hit it OK off the tee and I didn't make many mistakes," he said. "I think overall it was a good day. It was all there, but some holes I made a small mistake and on others I got away with it. It was nice to make the birdie on 18 and finally be under par. I played the first nine holes in every round so far over par. It's nice to see myself in red numbers for once. That putt on 18 was a big one and it'll help me sleep easier tonight."
You might think that having won this title recently, Berberian would be carrying some extra confidence into the final round.
But, he's not getting ahead of himself.
"It's nice to have won this before, but every tournament is a new tournament," he said. "There's different people on the leaderboard ahead of me. They're all good players and they want to win just as badly as I do. All I can do is keep my head down and keep plugging away."