Paul Broadhurst leads Senior PGA by 2 shots over Retief Goosen

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Paul Broadhurst leads Senior PGA by 2 shots over Retief Goosen

PGA

Paul Broadhurst leads Senior PGA by 2 shots over Retief Goosen

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Paul Broadhurst just shook his head, smiled, and seemed to be thanking his lucky stars that when play finally ended Saturday afternoon, he’d somehow stretched his bogey-free streak in the Senior PGA Championship to 38 holes.

Thirty-eight holes. At Oak Hill’s muscle-flexing East Course. Under major championship conditions and pressure. That’s quite an accomplishment, one Broadhurst really couldn’t explain.

“I’m obviously delighted,” he said after shooting a third-round 3-under-par 67 for a 6-under total of 204, good for a two-stroke lead over Retief Goosen heading into Sunday’s final round. “Another bogey-free round. Doesn’t happen very often, back-to-back bogey-free rounds, especially around a course like this.”

When he won this championship last year at Harbor Shores in Michigan, a place where birdies were as prevalent as weather delays at Oak Hill, Broadhurst put on a late birdie barrage to pull into the lead on the back nine Sunday and win going away with an absurdly low total of 19-under-par.

This week, he has only eight birdies in 54 holes, but the key is that he’s played only two holes over par, the third and 16th holes in the first round.

Of course, it helps that he made a 25-footer to save par at the first hole Saturday, then chipped in for birdie at the fourth hole, the kind of breaks you need to play a round — or two — without a square on your card.

Interspersed between the two weather stoppages, he hit an 8-iron to 12 feet for birdie at 6, birdied the 10th hole for the third straight day by making a 12-footer, and then parred the final eight.

“Fortunate, I guess, a couple of times,” he said when trying to rationalize how he’s avoided the ugly numbers. “Hit a lot of greens, a lot of fairways, not spraying it. Trying to be as sensible as I can be. When I’ve hit a poor shot, I’ve played a good pitch, so my short game’s been pretty good out of the thick stuff. I’ve driven it reasonably well. My irons have been OK. They haven’t been straight at the flag, but sometimes I’ve hit away from the flag. But all in all, 2 shot lead, couldn’t be happier.”

Yet as well as he’s played, he hasn’t exactly distanced himself from the field and he’ll be playing side-by-side in the final group with Goosen, a two-time U.S. Open winner who shot 67 to get to 4-under 206.

Goosen was a force on the PGA and European tours in his prime, but he hasn’t won a tournament anywhere since 2009. Still, the 50-year-old certainly won’t be melting under the spotlight Sunday.

The last time Broadhurst could recall being paired with Goosen was a match play event “where he did me 5 and 4,” Broadhurst said. “It will be interesting. He’s a great player, hits it miles. I’m going to have to be on my best game and more than likely have to shoot under par again.”

Sitting three strokes behind Broadhurst at 207 is Ken Tanigawa, who tied Corey Pavin for low round of the day with a 66.

Another shot back is Tanigawa’s former college teammate at UCLA, Champions Tour money leader Scott McCarron (67-206). Pavin (66-209) and John Riegger (69-209), the only other players under par for the week, will play in the third-to-last group.

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