Just like the bogey golfer who suddenly wakes up after realizing that he’s made 4 consecutive pars, David Toms finally reentered the Earth’s atmosphere on Saturday at Colonial. And it wasn’t pretty.
Through the first two rounds this week at the Crowne Plaza Invitational, Toms’ play from tee-to-green was nothing short of flawless, firing back-to-back bogey-free rounds of 8-under 62 while tying the PGA Tour’s 36-hole scoring record. He came into Saturday’s round with a 7-shot lead, in great position to firm up his quest to end his 5-season winless streak that goes all the way back to January of 2006. But by the time Toms holed his final putt of the round late Saturday afternoon, his quest suddenly got more challenging, thanks to an untidy round of 4-over 74 that now leaves him a shot back of the lead heading into Sunday. “I felt after the first six holes, I was just hanging on. … Trying not to make a mistake,” Toms said. “Maybe I’ll go out there with a little pressure off of me and see if we can do better (Sunday).”
The guy that Toms and a handful of other players are chasing is veteran Charlie Wi, who fired a 4-under 66 Saturday to claim the 54-hole lead. Despite his own driving woes off the tee, Wi’s only blemish on his card for the day came at the long, difficult par3 4th where he would find the green-side bunker and miss the 8 footer remaining for par. But as he has done for the first two days at Colonial, Wi would once again perform splendidly on the greens Saturday, needing only 25 attempts with his putter for the round. Wi’s last professional victory came at the 2006 Maybank Malaysian Open, a co-sanctioned event by both the European and Asian Tours. He’s yet to win a PGA Tour event, although he’s had a few near misses over the past several seasons. If he can continue his steady putting, Sunday could be his PGA Tour watershed moment and he could also help pull off a rare feat on the PGA Tour by having two Korean players winning back-to-back PGA Tour events.