Course Record Moves Wag­ner Near the Top

The Washington Post Sunday - - Hockey -

John­son Wag­ner has proven he can shoot low scores on the PGA Tour.

Now, the 27-year-old rookie just has to do it on a Sun­day.

Wag­ner took ad­van­tage of a rain-soft­ened course and calm con­di­tions to shoot a course-record 8un­der 64 yes­ter­day in the rain­de­layed Hous­ton Open in Hum­ble, Tex.

Wag­ner was 11 un­der, four strokes be­hind Bubba Wat­son. The big-hit­ting Wat­son was 9 un­der through 15 holes and 15 un­der over­all when play was sus­pended be­cause of dark­ness. Wat­son was one of 27 play­ers who will com­plete the round this morn­ing.

Jeff Mag­gert, play­ing with Wat­son, was three shots back at 12 un­der. Adam Scott and Paul Stankowski shot 65s just ahead of the sus­pen­sion of play and were tied with Wag­ner at 11 un­der. Thun­der­storms dumped 11⁄

2 inches of rain on the 7,457-yard Tour­na­ment Course at Red­stone yes­ter­day morn­ing, post­pon­ing the start of the third round for six hours.

The play­ers went off in three­somes in the early af­ter­noon and were al­lowed to lift, clean and place their balls in the soggy fair­ways.

Wag­ner started the day at 4 un­der, two shots out a six-way tie at the top. He teed off al­most two hours be­fore the lead­ers and made the most of the ideal scor­ing con­di­tions.

He reeled off five straight birdies, in­clud­ing a curl­ing 25-footer on No. 6, to fin­ish a front-nine 30, then added two birdies on the back to beat Greg Owen’s 65 in the sec­ond round of last year’s Hous­ton Open.

“It was an in­cred­i­ble run,” Wag­ner said. “I kind of got in a zone.”

The Amar­illo na­tive won twice on the Na­tion­wide Tour last year and fin­ished sec­ond on the money list to earn a PGA Tour card. He’s dis­cov­er­ing quickly how much more dif­fi­cult it is to win on the PGA Tour.

Wag­ner has shot at least one round in the 60s in seven of nine starts this year. But his fi­nal-round av­er­age is 73.5, in­clud­ing an 80 at the Honda Clas­sic and a 76 in Tampa the fol­low­ing week. K CHAM­PI­ONS TOUR: Keith Fer­gus moved into po­si­tion for his first Cham­pi­ons Tour vic­tory, shoot­ing a bo­gey-free 5-un­der 67 to take a one-stroke lead in the Ginn Cham­pi­onship in Palm Coast, Fla.

Fer­gus, a three-time win­ner on the PGA Tour, birdied all four par-5 holes and parred the last four holes — the most dif­fi­cult test on the Jack Nick­laus-de­signed Ham­mock Beach course at the Ocean Club — to fin­ish at 10-un­der 134.

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