SOCOTTSDALE: American Troy Matteson fired his second consecutive nine-under par 61 on Saturday, a US PGA record, to seize a three-shot lead after the third round of the $5 million Frys.com Open.
On a stunning day for scoring that saw three aces and an albatross, Matteson fired 10 birdies that included four sets of back-to-back birdies, one after his lone bogey at 13 and two more to open and close the back nine. Matteson’s back-to-back 61s beat the prior 36-hole consecutive PGA low of 123 achieved by US veteran Steve Stricker with a 61 and a 62 in the final two rounds of this year’s Bob Hope Classic.
Matteson, whose only PGA title came at this event in 2006, stood on 16-under par 194 with South Africa’s Tim Clark and Americans Chris Stroud and Webb Simpson sharing second on 197.
Clark and Stroud fired 65s. Simpson had a 64.
Australian Nick O’Hern was in a group on 198 that also includes Americans Bill Lunde, Jamie Lovemark, Ryan Moore and Rickie Fowler with US veteran Justin Leonard and astonishing American Nicholas Thompson on 199.
Thompson fired a 65 that included an ace and an albatross, the first time since statistics started being kept in 1983 that one player fired a hole-in-one and a double-eagle in the same round.
Thompson fired his
albatross on the par-5 11th hole, sinking a 3-wood
shot from 261 yards for only the fourth double-eagle
on the US PGA Tour this year, and then followed on the
199-yard par-3 13th with a 7-iron for an ace.