Davis, Molder take lead into Colonial final round

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FORT WORTH, Texas --- Brian Davis is seemingly done penalizing himself. And now he gets another chance to challenge for his first PGA Tour victory.

Crowne Plaza Invitational co-leader Brian Davis chips to the 16th green at Colonial. He made par en route to shooting 5-under-par 65.  LM Otero/Associated Press
LM Otero/Associated Press
Crowne Plaza Invitational co-leader Brian Davis chips to the 16th green at Colonial. He made par en route to shooting 5-under-par 65.

After a second consecutive bogey-free 5-under-par 65 on Saturday, Davis shares the lead with Bryce Molder at 16-under 194 going into the final round of the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial.

When Davis got into a playoff in April at Hilton Head Island, S.C., with Jim Furyk, Davis called a two-stroke penalty against himself on the extra hole that ensured a victory for the fifth-ranked player in the world. Davis then finished 57th the following week at New Orleans and had missed three consecutive cuts before Colonial.

"What happened during the playoff threw me off balance a little bit. I lost my focus. ... Missing three cuts in a row, I wasn't exactly happy coming in," Davis said. "I've had to adjust my thinking a little bit. Not everybody can play well every week. You have to take the rough with the smooth some times."

The 35-year-old Englishman and Molder, the second-round leader who finished his 67 on Saturday with eight consecutive pars, are hoping for a little plaid to signify finally winning on the PGA Tour. The Colonial champion gets a plaid jacket along with a check of more than $1 million.

Molder has four top-10s this season, but the four-time All-American from Georgia Tech has only one professional victory since leaving college in 2001 -- on the Nationwide Tour in 2006.

It was another hot but ideal scoring day at Hogan's Alley, where there again were only light breezes. Today's forecast calls for nearly identical conditions.

"I don't know if Fort Worth has seen four calmer days in a row," said Molder, who expects the winning score to be at least 20-under. That would break Kenny Perry's tournament-record mark of 19-under, which he set when winning in 2003 and 2005.

There are 17 players at 11-under or better going into the final round this year.

"I have no illusions about (Sunday)," said Davis, who hasn't had a bogey since the ninth hole in the opening round.

Zach Johnson (64) was a stroke behind the leaders. Ben Crane (64) joined first-round co-leaders Jeff Overton (66) and Jason Bohn (68) in a tie for fourth at 14-under.

"This is a golfer's dream to have the wind lay down like this," Crane said. "Certainly this is one of the best courses in the world and the greens are receptive."

Molder shot a career-best 62 Friday to take the halfway lead, then set another personal mark Saturday with nine consecutive one-putts.

He made putts ranging from 4 to 34 feet from hole Nos. 2-11, a stretch that included five birdies and a double bogey.

Then on the closing 441-yard 18th hole, Molder slid a 10-foot birdie try just past the cup.

Same start, same finish

Blake Adams and Brian Gay both started their third rounds with two birdies and shot 68s. Adams, who lives near Swainsboro, Ga., is tied for 24th place, seven off the lead. Gay, the former Louisville, Ga., resident, is tied for 48th.

-- From staff reports


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