GREENSBORO, North Carolina (Reuters) - Davis Love has a chance to become the oldest PGA Tour winner, three strokes behind leader Henrik Stenson after the third round at the Wyndham Championship on Saturday.
The 53-year-old could have been even closer, failing to capitalize on the brilliant front nine en route to a three-under-par 67 at Sedgefield Country Club.
Love, who went to college at the University of North Carolina in nearby Chapel Hill, is already the third oldest winner on tour after his triumph here two years ago.
The only older winners are Sam Snead, who won this event in 1965 at the age of 52, and Art Wall, who was 51 when he captured the 1975 Greater Milwaukee Open.
“I’ve got a chance, though there are a lot of guys who’ve got a chance unfortunately,” Love said after signing for a 13-under 197 total heading into Sunday’s final round.
A chance to supplant Snead as the oldest winner is something for Love to savor having known Sneed well before he died in 2002 at the age of 89.
“I spent a lot of time with him,” said Love. “He gave me some tips and some lessons but (most of all) inspiration.”
Love, whose 21 tour wins include three victories in Greensboro, surged into contention when he picked up four strokes on the front nine.
“With a 31 on the front nine I put myself in good position to shoot a good score but I had a couple of unforced errors on the back,” he said.
The first of those unforced errors came after he ripped his drive 300 yards over a fairway bunker at the par-four 10th, but inexplicably caught his 120-yard approach shot fat, coming up 30 yards short.
A deft up-and-down to save par preserved his momentum, and he perhaps should have birdie the par-four 13th, his 15-foot putt stopping on the edge of the cup.
A bogey at the next, where he overshot the green with his approach from rough, halted his progress, and he was lucky to avoid a water hazard with his second shot at the par-five 15th, fellow competitor Kevin Na yelling “safe” to inform Love his ball was dry.
Editing by Greg Stutchbury