ENDICOTT, N.Y. — Ernie Els opened a 3-stroke lead Saturday within the Dick’s Sporting Items Open, reeling off 5 straight birdies on the entrance 9 in a 7-under 65.
Els birdied holes 2 via 6 at windy and wet En-Joie Golf Membership, added one other on the par-4 ninth, made eight straight pars and closed the bogey-free spherical with a 15-foot birdie putt on the par-4 18th to get to 11-under 133.
“I hit numerous greens and once I hit the greens, I made some putts, in order that was a very good key for me,” Els mentioned. “The situations have been fairly robust. Rain and wind sort of got here and went so that you sort of needed to hold the ball in entrance of you. Ending on 16 making a very good par save and making a birdie on 18 was massive.”
Making his first look within the occasion, the 51-year-old South African star is in place for his third PGA Tour Champions victory after successful twice final season. He has 4 main titles, the final within the 2012 British Open.
“It is dependent upon situations,” Els mentioned. “We had all of it right this moment, a little bit of rain, a little bit of wind, a little bit of every little thing, so hopefully it will get slightly higher tomorrow. However I’ve obtained to attain properly tomorrow. The blokes are going to return out of the pack, there’s going to be guys capturing low, so simply sort of obtained to do what I can do.”
Cameron Beckman was second after a 69. He is winless on the 50-and-over tour after successful thrice on the PGA Tour.
“You by no means need to play within the rain, however we had a pair spots the place it was raining fairly good,” Beckman mentioned. “Particularly, on the par 5s. It sort of affected how far the ball was going off the tee and we weren’t in a position to get to a few of them. Tomorrow’s going to be a very good day and hopefully we crank ’em up.”
The U.S. Senior Open is subsequent week at Omaha Nation Membership in Nebraska.