Matteson acknowledges the gallery on the 18th green during
the third round of the Frys.com Open golf tournament in
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Troy Matteson
had never shot a 61 until this week. Now he's done it twice in a row
to set a PGA Tour record.
His second straight 9-under round at
the Frys.com Open on Saturday gave him a three-shot lead at 16-under
194 heading into the final day of the third stop in the tour's Fall
Matteson's 122 score in consecutive
rounds broke the tour record of 123 set this year by Steve Stricker
in the third and fourth rounds of the Bob Hope Classic.
"With the year I've had, it's
— first of all — it's undescribable," Matteson said.
Webb Simpson (64), Tim Clark (65) and
Chris Stroud (65) were tied at 13 under. Second round co-leader
Rickie Fowler (69) and Nick O'Hern (67) were in a group of five at
In an amazing stretch, Nicholas
Thompson had a double eagle on the par-5 11th, followed by a
hole-in-one on the par-3 13th, a drop of five shots in three holes.
He finished with a 65 to tie Justin Leonard (69) at 11 under.
"He needs to go straight back to
Vegas and put some money down," said Matteson, who teamed with
Thompson at Georgia Tech.
Bill Lunde (65), Jamie Lovemark (65)
and Ryan Moore (67) also were at 12 under.
Fowler was just two shots back before
a double bogey on the par-4 17th.
"There's a little bit of life
out there, you know, if you get things going a little bit," he
said. "But the double at 17, ... killed the momentum."
Greg Owen, the other second-round
co-leader, struggled to a 3-over 75 and was far back in a tie at 8
Clark, who lives in Scottsdale, says
three shots are not a lot to make up.
"This course, if you start to
struggle, you can shoot over par easy," he said. "And
obviously playing great, like Troy has done the last two days, you
can shoot 9 under. So three shots is nothing."
Conditions couldn't have been better
on the par-70 sun-splashed desert Raptor Course layout at Grayhawk
Golf Club, playing at a short 7,013 yards. The result was some
amazing shots, including two other aces, both on the 198-yard 16th.
The first, by Ted Purdy with a
5-iron, won him a Mercedes, which he kissed after making the shot.
Chad Campbell later had one on the same hole, using a 6-iron.
But nothing could top Thompson's
He hit a 3-wood approach 261 yards
into the hole on the 562-yard 11th. Thompson couldn't see it go in
the hole and the Golf Channel didn't catch the shot.
"I heard some claps and I think,
'Nice, it's on the green,'" he said. "And I see a guy
throw his arms up in the air and I'm like, 'Yes, tap-in eagle.' Then
I hear them roar and I'm like 'Wait a minute. That's a double eagle.
Two holes later, he grabbed his
6-iron and sent the ball soaring toward the pin on the par-3,
199-yard third hole.
"I underclubbed it purposely so
that I could land it short of the pin over the false front,"
Thompson said. "I mean, I flushed it and I hit it good. I was
like, 'Oh, be as good as you look.' Apparently it was."
Thompson was 5 under for those two
holes — and 5 under for the day. What made the difference?
"I didn't have to putt," he
Matteson, who turns 30 next month,
has one tour victory — at a different Frys.com Open in 2006. That
Las Vegas tournament is now known as the Justin Timberlake Shriners
Hospital for Children Open.
This event was known as the Frys
Electronics Open in 2007 and became the Frys.com Open last year.
Matteson ranks 131st on the money
list and was hoping just to make the cut after shooting a 2-over 72
in the opening round.
"You know, it's just a struggle.
Nothing would go in," he said. "All of a sudden I come out
here the next day and it's like, 'Voila, there it is.'"
Starting the day two shots off the
lead, he had four birdies on the first nine to make the turn at
minus-11. He overcame his lone bogey of the day, on No. 13, with
birdies on 14 and 15, then capped his day with birdies on the last
"You know, just making a lot of
birdies out there and keeping my ball in play," Matteson said.
"A lot of close opportunities, that's really the key out here.
How many times can you hit it inside five, 10 feet. Twenty feet just
doesn't cut it out here."
Matteson tied the 18-hole record for
the three-year-old tournament. It was set by Kevin Stadler, whose 61
last year followed a first-round 81 and he missed the cut.