Steve Pate was trying to make the cut. He did - and took the lead, too.
Pate shot an 8-under-par 64 to come from nine shots back and take a one-stroke lead Saturday after the third round of the $800,000 Honda Classic in Coral Springs, Fla.
"I didn't expect to be in this position at all. I had no hope of this," Pate said after he'd one-putted 11 times in the third round. "But the guys in front of me weren't doing much and, with the wind, the golf course was much tougher today."
Pate, a two-time winner last season, completed 54 holes in 201, 15-under par. He was among the 72 golfers whose second rounds were halted by darkness Friday night.
"I was 4-under with seven to play," Pate said. "I knew the cut would be 4-under, so I was just trying to get in the last two rounds."
Pate birdied three of those seven second-round holes, then moved in front with his bogey-free third round.
"I played better than I hoped," Pate said after completing 54 holes - 25 on Saturday - in 201, 15 under par.
"Probably the best putting round I've had this year," said Pate, who went 5-under for the round when he holed a 45-foot birdie putt on the ninth.
He came within six inches of holing out a wedge shot on the 10th, birdied the 14th from 15 feet, scored from 10 feet on the 16th and then saved par - and the lead - with a 10-footer on the final hole.
Dan Pohl, who led by three strokes after shooting a 62 in the second round, shot a 75 and was two strokes back at 203.
"Absolutely brain dead," he muttered after hitting an approach into a bunker on the 14th hole, where he made one of his five bogeys.
Blaine McCallister, Larry Rinker and Ted Schulz were tied for second at 202. McCallister finished off a 65 with a chip-in birdie on the 18th hole. Rinker made birdie putts from off the green on the 11th and 14th and holed a 115-yard sand-wedge shot for an eagle-2 on the 16th in a 67. Schulz shot 71.
***** At Indian Wells, Calif., Gene Littler shot a 4-under-par 68 to share a one-stroke lead with Bob Charles and Miller Barber after three rounds of the $370,000 Vintage Invitational Seniors tournament.
Charles managed 73, and Barber played his round at even-par to stand 4-under with Littler through 54 holes. Don Bies had 68 to move into a three-way tie for second with Larry Mowry (71) and J.C. Goosie (74).
"I was a little shaky at the start today," Littler said after his bogey-free round. "But I made a couple of putts for par. I feel better about my chances than I did yesterday. Even if I were one or two back it wouldn't be much on this golf course."