Course Record Moves Wagner Near the Top
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.