Furman's Davidson is tied for lead at BMW Pro-Am

Published on Saturday, May 17, 2014

Three players are tied for the lead at the BMW Pro-AM for the first time entering the final round. Furman’s Matt Davidson, former Auburn All-American Blayne Barber and Duke’s Ryan Blum share the 54-hole lead at 14-under-par 201.

Wake Forest’s Kyle Reifers and Vanderbilt’s Jon Curran are a shot back in a tie for fourth.

Davidson, who graduated Furman 2004 and moved back to the area a few years ago, will be the likely crowd favorite on Sunday. The 33-year-old pro has felt some pressure this week but is having fun playing in front of friends and family.

“It’s awesome; it’s definitely more exciting than if it was a different tournament,” said Davidson whose 67 came at The Reserve at Lake Keowee. “It was fun to play with all those people watching.”

This is the first time Davidson has held or shared the lead after 54 holes on the Web.com Tour.

The New Jersey native believes he may need to post something special on Sunday to have a chance at earning his first Tour victory. “I guess it just depends on the weather,” Davidson said. “Typically the scores are pretty low out here and the leader board is going to be log jammed heading into the final round.”

Barber, on the other hand, has won on Tour. He also played The Reserve course. The Florida native has been on a hot streak of late earning his first victory a few weeks ago in Valdosta, Ga.

Blaum, who won the Order of Merit on the NEC Series-PGA TOUR Latinoamérica last year, played at Thornblade Club on Saturday.

Davidson is looking to become the seventh first time winner this season on Tour. He averages 70.50 in the final round on Tour this season.

Davidson’s best finish on Tour is a T3, he has accomplished this three times most recently at the 2013 Price Cutter Charity Championship.

Davidson finished with birdies on No. 17 and 18, “I hit a couple of good shots in there at the end. It was getting pretty tough at the start of our back nine. I made a bogey (No. 13). To end with those two birdies to feel like I got it back to where I felt like I played a good round.

“I’ve been hitting it pretty nicely, especially after the first day. At Green Valley I didn’t hit it great, putted okay, and kind of scraped it around in three-under. The last two rounds I’ve hit it nicely. I’ve hit the ball close (to the flag), made some good four, five, seven footers for birdie. I guess it just depends on the weather. You would think that if I got to 20-under I would have a chance. But if it gets windy maybe it won’t be quite that much. But typically the scores are pretty low out here and the leaderboard is going to be log jammed heading into the final round. So you figure someone will go pretty deep.”

• Given the unique three-course format, this week’s cut was made after 54 holes vs. the standard 36. 75 professionals survived the cut, which came at 6-under par (209). The most players to previously make the cut (when cut was low 60 and ties) was 74 in 2003 and 2006.

• The low-six celebrity teams and the low-10 amateur teams qualified to play on Sunday at Thornblade.

• The fourth and final round gets underway on Sunday at Thornblade Club at approximately 6:45 a.m., with tee times going until approximately 12:30 p.m. off the first tee.

• Leading the Pro-Am portion of the tournament at 32-under par are Jonathan Randolph and Ryan Floyd. Andrew Putnam and Rolf Klam are 31-under par and Alexandre Rocha and Adam Bryant are 30-under par.

• Leading the Pro-Celebrity competition at 33-under par are Adam Hadwin and Wayne Gretsky. Max Homa and Janet Jones-Gretsky are at 26-under par while Scott Pinckney and Ty Gretsky are at 23-under part.



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