Bettencourt, Molder go low in Texas

[ASSOCIATED PRESS

MCKINNEY, Texas – Bryce Molder closed in on a PGA Tour card Saturday, shooting a 7-under 64 for a share of the third-round lead with Matt Bettencourt in the season-ending Nationwide Tour Championship.

Molder, 32nd on the money list, needs to finish in the final top 25 in the earnings race to earn a 2009 PGA Tour card.

“I’m not there yet, tomorrow is going to be a big day for me,” Molder said.

Bettencourt shot a course-record 63 to match Molder at 15-under 198 at TPC Craig Ranch. Peter Tomasulo (63), Kyle Reifers (65) and Darron Stiles (70) were 12 under.

Molder birdied Nos. 12-15, had pars on holes 16-17, then finished up with an up-and-down birdie from a bunker on 18, nearly holing his sand shot.

“I was walked down the 11th fairway, saw my wife and had her give me a kiss. Now I was ready to make some birdies,” Molder said.

Bettencourt entered the week 12th on the money list, high enough to guarantee a spot on the PGA Tour next year.

“My goal at the start of this week, honestly, was to move into the top 10 on the money list,” Bettencourt said. “No. 1 is obviously a dream, but I’m just going to try and win a golf tournament.”

Bettencourt spent much of Thursday morning in a hospital with kidney stones.

“I called my caddie late Wednesday night and said, ‘I think I’m dying,’ ” Bettencourt said. “He came over to pick me, punched hospital on the GPS and away we went.”

He returned to his hotel at 3 a.m., Thursday full of pain medication, and has had it close at hand all week long. After opening rounds of 68 and 67, he got on a record roll early in his third round.

After a birdie and a bogey in his first four holes, he was 7 under on the next six holes with four straight birdies, an eagle on the par-5 ninth and another birdie on 10.

It was the best birdie-eagle streak on the Nationwide Tour this year and boosted him to the top of the leaderboard.

“Saturday is moving day and I was just trying to get myself in position for victory. I’m glad I did,” he said.

Scores with relation to par from the third round of the Nationwide TourChampionship, played Nov. 8 at the par-71, 7,438-yard TPC Craig Ranchin McKinney, Texas:

  1. Matt Bettencourt 68-67-63--198

    -15 1. Bryce Molder 67-67-64--198

    -15 3. Peter Tomasulo 68-70-63--201

    -12 3. Kyle Reifers 72-64-65--201

    -12 3. Darron Stiles 64-67-70--201

    -12 6. Marc Leishman 67-67-68--202

    -11 6. Garrett Osborn 66-65-71--202

    -11 8. Jeff Klauk 65-69-69--203

    -10 9. Scott Gutschewski 70-67-67--204

    -9 9. Spencer Levin 66-69-69--204

    -9 9. Hunter Haas 68-66-70--204

    -9 9. Colt Knost 67-66-71--204

    -9 13. D.J. Brigman 69-69-67--205

    -8 13. Brendon de Jonge 69-69-67--205

    -8 13. Gavin Coles 68-69-68--205

    -8 13. Casey Wittenberg 71-64-70--205

    -8 17. Oskar Bergman 73-66-67--206

    -7 17. David Branshaw 70-67-69--206

    -7 17. Scott Piercy 69-67-70--206

    -7 20. Daniel Summerhays 71-70-66--207

    -6 20. Fran Quinn 71-68-68--207

    -6 20. Bill Lunde 67-71-69--207

    -6 20. Greg Owen 68-70-69--207

    -6 24. Ryan Hietala 69-71-68--208

    -5 24. Matt Weibring 71-68-69--208

    -5 24. Matt Every 68-70-70--208

    -5 24. Alex Prugh 71-67-70--208

    -5 28. Rick Price 68-73-68--209

    -4 28. Josh Broadaway 74-67-68--209

    -4 28. David Mathis 71-69-69--209

    -4 28. Bob May 70-68-71--209

    -4 32. Chris Smith 74-71-65--210

    -3 32. Webb Simpson 70-73-67--210

    -3 32. Vance Veazey 74-69-67--210

    -3 32. Jeff Brehaut 70-72-68--210

    -3 32. Chris Anderson 71-71-68--210

    -3 32. Greg Chalmers 69-72-69--210

    -3 32. Won Joon Lee 71-70-69--210

    -3 32. Ricky Barnes 69-71-70--210

    -3 32. D.A. Points 72-68-70--210

    -3 32. Aron Price 70-70-70--210

    -3 42. Chad Ginn 71-72-68--211

    -2 42. Brendon Todd 73-68-70--211

    -2 42. Jarrod Lyle 69-71-71--211

    -2 45. Skip Kendall 70-74-68--212

    -1 45. Chris Tidland 71-72-69--212

    -1 45. Justin Hicks 74-69-69--212

    -1 45. Kris Blanks 70-71-71--212

    -1 49. Chris Nallen 71-71-71--213

    E 49. Arjun Atwal 71-71-71--213

    E 49. Bryan DeCorso 68-71-74--213

    E 52. Michael Putnam 71-72-71--214
    + 1 52. Garth Mulroy 75-69-70--214
    + 1 54. Bubba Dickerson 72-72-71--215
    + 2 55. Roger Tambellini 73-74-70--217
    + 4 55. J.J. Killeen 77-70-70--217
    + 4 57. Joe Daley 74-72-72--218
    + 5 58. Scott Dunlap 74-76-69--219
    + 6 DQ. Ewan Porter 70-73-DQ
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