Another Mad Scramble In PGA Tour Playoffs

Monday, September 3rd 2007, 1:01 pm
By: News On 6

NORTON, Mass. (AP) _ Arron Oberholser can't seem to decide who's a bigger threat in the final round of the Deutsche Bank Championship.

The guy ahead of him, or the guys behind him.

Brett Wetterich shot a 5-under-par 66 to move into the lead at TPC Boston on Sunday at 13-under, one stroke ahead of Oberholser (66). But just below them on the leaderboard are Phil Mickelson (11-under) and Tiger Woods (10-under), with Aaron Baddeley tied with Woods and U.S. Open champion Angel Cabrera just four strokes off the lead.

``Look who's behind me,'' Oberholser said. ``I've got the U.S. Open champion behind me, who shot 65 today; I've got the PGA champion (Woods) behind me, who three-putted the last two holes to give us all a little bit of a break; and then a three-time major champion in Phil Mickelson right behind me.

``And then, obviously, Brett is leading. I mean, and Brett has won before. He knows how to do it. And this golf course is right up his alley. We all have our work cut out for us tomorrow, and I do, too, without a doubt. ... I'm probably the last guy on that board that most people think will win tomorrow with those names up there.''

Oberholser will pair up with Wetterich for the Labor Day finish, with the glamour group matching up Woods and Mickelson for the third time in four days. In the first two rounds, they played in a threesome with Vijay Singh that attracted almost all of the attention from the galleries.

But this time, the tournament's on the line.

It's the fifth time Woods and Mickelson have been paired in the final round over the last 10 years, the first since the 2005 Ford Championship at Doral. Woods has a 3-1-1 advantage, three times leading to victory.

Woods moved into contention with three straight birdies, starting with a 30-foot putt on No. 8. But he three-putted both of the last two greens and would up with a 67.

``I can describe it a lot of different ways, but I'll just leave it as I'm not very happy right now,'' the defending champion said. ``I'm going to have to actually shoot a really low round tomorrow, and hopefully, it will be enough.''

Woods made up a three-stroke margin against Singh a year ago to win the Deutsche Bank. Oberholser doesn't doubt for a second that he can do it again.

``He'll figure it out, I have no doubt,'' Oberholser said. ``He'll figure it out. That stuff doesn't stay with him. That stuff doesn't bother him. That stuff never has, not even when he and I were playing against each other in college. He's just _ he handles all that mental adversity better than anybody else, and that's why he's got 13 major victories.''

Wetterich had birdies on two of the first four holes and saved a stroke on No. 5 after a bad drive went into the hazard and it took him a half-dozen tries to drop without landing on the cart path or the TV wires. Then, he hit his approach within five feet.

``After all that was done, I hit a great shot to the green, thank God,'' he said. ``From there on I got myself out of trouble and didn't get in any more trouble and made a few birdie putts.''

It's the first time in his career he has brought the lead into the final round. He hasn't been in serious contention at all since Doral, when he played with Woods in the final pairing. He shot a 1-under 71 to cut a four-stroke deficit to two shots.

``If I go out and shoot 5 under like I did today, it's going to be hard to beat me, unless someone really plays a good round of golf,'' Wetterich said. ``I'm going to go out and try to make the best score that I can. And if someone catches me and beats me, then they did.''