PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. – Rich Berberian Jr. and Rob Corcoran ended Wednesday where they started it – leading the PGA Four-Ball Stableford Team Championship at PGA Golf Club.
But the players in their rear-view mirror are a lot closer than expected.
After combining for 39 points in the first two rounds, Berberian and Corcoran only added nine Wednesday – five birdies and a bogey on a par-5 on the Dye Course – to see their lead shrink from six points to one.
“It’s turned into a ballgame,” Berberian said. “I knew it was going to be tough after the first day when we shot 59 and played almost perfect golf. We’ve kind of almost been protecting what we’ve got the last two days. Now that it’s close, we’ve got to go back to being aggressive.”
“We’re not trying to make it dramatic,” Corcoran said. “We just don’t have a choice. We have to play our own game and stay positive. We’re playing good golf.”
Michael O’Connor of Erie, Pa., and Kirk Stauffer of Bradford, Pa., earned 16 points on eight birdies to move one back at 47. Stauffer made five consecutive birdies on the front nine.
“I had a nice run there, but we didn’t do much on the back,” Stauffer said. “We’re not aggressive players by nature. We’re not bombers. We play to our strengths.”
The brother tandem of Jerry Tucker of Stuart and Michael Tucker of Chesterfield, Mo., had 16 points to move into a third-place tie at 45 with Adam Rainaud of Chester, Ct., and Scott Berliner of Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
This is the first year for the Four-Ball Stableford Team Championship, where players earn five points for an eagle, two for a birdie, zero for a par and minus-1 for a bogey. The event replaced the PGA Match Play Championship. The field of 176 was more than double the Match Play’s.
“This is a great tournament because you can have all sorts of combinations … two seniors like us, two young guys like the leaders and we played today with a man and a woman,” Michael Tucker said. “I loved the Match Play, but this has been a really fun tournament.”
The winning team splits $8,000.