Golf notebook: Goodes in good shape after third round

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Mike Goodes birdied the first five holes of the third round Saturday to jump up the leader board in advance of the final round today of the Constellation Senior Players Championship.

Goodes cooled off after his blistering start and finished with a 5-under 65, putting him in sole ownership of fifth place at 10 under. He sits five strokes back of leader Fred Couples.

"You really couldn't have scripted it any better," Goodes said.

And for today, he wants more of the same.

"I just want to play steady. Keep doing what I've been doing -- hit a lot of fairways, lots of greens and hopefully make a few putts. That's the way to play this golf course."

Goodes, who didn't turn pro until 2007 at the age of 50, has just one Champions Tour victory to his name, the 2010 Allianz Championship in Boca Raton, Fla. His streak of five consecutive birdies marked the most consecutive holes he has played under par since June 2011, when he played six in a row under par at the Greater Hickory Classic in Conover, N.C. This is his 47th event since then.

"I made a lot of 10-15-footers," he said. "I had a two-putt birdie on 2, and the rest were legitimate good putts."

He bogeyed Nos. 7 and 8 and didn't convert a birdie again until the 15th hole, but that didn't mean he stopped playing well.

"I made a couple good pars, actually," Goodes said. "I had a great par on 9. I hit it in the right rough and couldn't [get out], I just had to knock it down the fairway and got up and down from 50 yards. So all those pars were not just ho-hum pars, there were some pretty good two-putts in there."

But the birdie on 15 was a breakthrough.

"I was relieved to finally make another birdie on 15. You go par, par, par ... but it was nice to finally make a birdie," he said. "It's a momentum game."

He hit his 5-wood to about 3 feet on the par-3 17th and tapped in for birdie.

"To birdie 17 was a bonus. It's a par 31/2 anyway, so that was nice to finish off good," he said.

Goodes tees off at 9:30 a.m. today from the first hole.

Tee times moved up

Golfers will begin their final rounds today between 7:30 a.m. and 9:40 on holes 1 and 10. The tee times were moved up due to the threat of rain later in the day. Gates open to the public at 6:45 a.m.

Cochran withdraws

Russ Cochran withdrew from the tournament midway through the third round due to a wrist injury. He started the day tied for eighth at 5 under and finished his second round Saturday morning.

He completed six holes of his third round by making a bogey on No. 4.

Walrus won't repeat

Craig "The Walrus" Stadler began the third round 1 under but had a rough go Saturday afternoon, shooting a 6-over 76. The winner last week at the Encompass Championship at North Shore Country Club in Glenview, Ill., Stadler fell back to 55th place, 20 shots off of the lead.

No repeat for Daley, either

Joe Daley, who won this event a year ago shooting 66-64-68-68--266, is not in contention this year. He has shot a respectable 71-69-69 in rounds 1-3 to put him 1 under, but he currently sits tied for 27th place.

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Nick Veronica: nveronica@post-gazette.com and Twitter @NickVeronica.


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