In yet another magical afternoon Saturday at CordeValle Golf
Course, the 47-year-old Mediate shot 4-under-par 67 to remain in
first place at 17-under through three rounds in the Frys.com
SAN MARTIN — After watching his 116-yard chip hit the 15th green and make a beeline toward the cup for his third eagle this week, Rocco Mediate held his arms out in disbelief and smiled at the unglued fans around him.
Did any of them think this was possible?
In yet another magical afternoon Saturday at CordeValle Golf Club, the 47-year-old Mediate shot 4-under-par 67 to remain in first place at 17-under through three rounds in the Frys.com Open.
With his chip-in on the par-5 15th, Mediate became the first player to record an ace and two eagles in the same weekend since Tiger Woods in 1998. Mediate eagled the par-4 fourth Friday and had a hole-in-one on the 190-yard par-3 third Thursday.
Before his chip-in, Mediate joked with his caddie, Matt Achatz, about how he hadn’t hit a big shot all week.
“That’s why I had my hands out like that. I couldn’t believe it,” said Mediate, who added he has not led any tournament for three straight days. “It was really funny. It’s a cool, ridiculous feeling. I can’t believe this week.
“If I keep doing what I’m doing, I should have a good chance of getting a win.”
Mediate held off a big run by Bo Van Pelt, who is three strokes behind in second after a 6-under finish Saturday. Van Pelt birdied four of his last eight holes and, at one point, was within a stroke of pulling even for first.
But no one could catch Mediate.
“Winning’s hard out here,” Van Pelt said. “There’s a lot of talented guys. Obviously, I needed a low score; Rocco’s been doing so well. It feels good to still have a chance.”
Ryuji Imada dropped out of second but birdied his final three holes to salvage a 69. He is tied with Alex Prugh at 12-under.
Prugh reeled off five consecutive birdies to start the back nine and had an eagle on the par-4 17th.
“I think if I played all my 18 holes like I played my last nine today, I could give (Mediate) a little scare,” Prugh said.
Rickie Fowler, who shot a 68, is fifth at 11-under followed by a large tie for sixth.
John Ellis continued to surge with a 68 that put the Live Oak High School graduate into a tie for 18th at 7-under. The 30-year-old made another late charge, collecting birdies on the ninth and 11th before stringing together three straight on Nos. 13-15.
His only blemishes were bogeys on the sixth and 18th –- an unfitting end to an otherwise solid round.