TUCSON, ARIZONA (AP) – Miguel Angel Jimenez fired a 5-under 67 on Saturday to grab a two-shot lead into the final round of the Cologuard Classic, overcoming wayward drives on the final two holes.
After a 66, Jimenez tied for first place with Jeff Sluman and had a three-shot lead as he approached the 17th tee. The 58-year-old Spaniard saved par on the par-5 17th after hitting into the water, but finished with a bogey on the par-4 18th after nearly hitting into the water. He was only 11 years old.
In his effort to win on the senior tour for the first time since 2014, Sluman recorded a 69 to go to 9 under. After a 67, Jerry Kelly was two strokes back, with Gene Sauers (68) and Woody Austin (69) at 8 under par.
Bernhard Langer, the reigning Charles Schwab Cup champion, was four strokes down after a 67. With his 43rd career win at the Chubb Classic last week, the 64-year-old eclipsed his own record as the oldest winner in PGA Tour Champions history, two behind Hale Irwin’s mark.
Jimenez won his 11th PGA Tour Champions title in the Mitsubishi Electric Championship in Hawaii to start the season, and he finished sixth last week in Florida. He hit a hole-in-one on the par-3 seventh during his first round at Tucson National, and then made a 40-foot putt on the same hole for the second of three consecutive second-round birdies.
Before getting into trouble, Jimenez sank a 20-foot birdie putt on the par-4 15th and narrowly missed another on the par-3 16th.
With a three-shot lead, Jimenez hit his tee shot into the water on the left side of the 17th fairway and had to take a drop from about 300 yards away. He got up and down for par after carving a fairway wood over a grove of trees into a greenside bunker.
On No. 18, Jimenez hit his second straight tee shot and got a break when a cable prevented his ball from rolling into the sea. He was forced to play out sideways due to his inability to take a proper stance and struck his third shot from 151 yards, two-putting from 40 feet for a closing bogey.
Sluman got off to a good start with three birdies in his first three holes before bogeying the par-4 sixth after a tee shot into the fairway bunker. Before two-putting from the fringe on the par-5 17th and just missing a birdie putt on the 18th, he had 10 straight pars.
Kelly made three birdies on the front nine to finish in 2-under 34, and he finished strong with birdie putts on Nos. 16 and 17.