MADISON, Miss. -- D.J. Trahan played like a man who suddenly
remembered he needed a big payday.
Trahan shook off a double bogey to maintain a two-stroke lead
Saturday, birdieing the final two holes for a 1-under 71 on the
Annandale Golf Club course. The birdies left him atop the leaderboard and in the running for a full tour card as well.
"I really executed my game plan well," Trahan said. "I just
had a couple of mental errors."
Trahan, who has led after all three rounds, had a 12-under 204
total after opening with rounds of 65 and 68. Two-time U.S. Open
champion Lee Janzen (67) was second, and Daniel Chopra (68) and
Brad Faxon (72) followed at 9 under.
Trahan, trying to win for the first time on the PGA Tour as well
as lock up full playing privileges for next season, countered a
bogey on the par-4 third hole with birdies on Nos. 5 and 7. After a
string of six pars, he dropped two strokes on the par-4 14th, but
rallied to birdie the 17th and 18th.
"I felt like I handled my emotions well out there," Trahan
said. "I certainly wish I could have made a few more putts, but
that's golf. The double bogey on 14, I wanted to break something
because it was such a stupid 6."
Trahan playing in his 65th PGA Tour event, is 142nd on the money
list with $474,242, with the top 125 at the end of the season
retaining their full tour cards. The winner's share of the $3
million purse is $540,000.
Despite that, Trahan said he does not feel pressured going into
the final round.
"Honestly, if I was not to play great tomorrow, if I was not to
keep my tour card, I would have to deal with it," he said. "I
think the worst thing you can do is sit there and dwell on it and
let it eat away at you. Because that will just hinder you in the
Janzen, who has made just seven cuts in 23 events, is playing on
a one-time tour exemption based on his position in the top 50 on
the career money list. He finished out of the top 125 last year for
the first time since joining the tour in 1990.
"It's very easy to get caught up with your position on the
money list," Janzen said. "Trying to move up to acquire another
standing or whatever. The guys outside the top 125, the guys
outside the top 70, and the guys trying to get into the top 50
world rankings. There are a lot of carrots out there that are worth
going for. That was a concern all year."
Faxon, who chased Trahan most of the day, offset three birdies
with three bogeys.
Faxon is trying to make up for a difficult season that has put
him at 136th on the money list. Making the top 125 is only a matter
of pride for him, his victory in Hartford in '05 came with a
Faxon is one of the tour's steadiest players and hasn't finished
out of the top 90 since 1985, his third year as a pro.
Chris Riley (69) was 8 under, and 14 players followed at 7