Leonard ahead by four at Bob Hope
BY Fred Norks | US PGA Tour | 2008 Bob Hope Chrysler Classic | Round Four | 20 Jan 2008
Texan Justin Leonard went one step closer to securing his second Bob Hope Chrysler Classic title after closing Saturday with a six under 66. The 1997 British Open champion goes in to fifth and final round with a handy four stroke lead.
Leonard began the day in equal second place and just one shot back from overnight leader, Robert Gamez. A birdie on the 13th hole gave him the outright lead at 20 under, he then went on to eagle the par-5 14th and closed the day with a short birdie on the 18th to finish at 23-under.
Despite his four shot buffer, the 35-year-old Leonard knows only too well how quickly the tide can turn.
“I think that the challenge for me and the goal for me tomorrow is to continue to play with the same attitude that I’ve played with the last four days: Hitting the ball close when I can, when I’m comfortable, and I’ve got a good yardage and club and everything. And there’s other times when, you know what, let’s just hit it 20 feet and give ourselves a putt at it.”
“So I think that’s my real challenge tomorrow, is just to go out and play with the same confidence and attitude and demeanor that I’ve played with the last four days.”
The strong Australian contingent continued to make their mark with Steve Elkington leading the fight at 18-under following a fourth round 67. The 1992 Australian Open champion is still well in contention on a course that has proven it can go low.
2008 USPGA Tour rookie, Brett Rumford, remained on track for the biggest cheque of his career after firing a 5-under 67 to finish in a share of 8th place. Matt Jones moved up fourteen places to T17 with a 66, while Robert Allenby wiped away his first round 73 with an 8-under 64 today, catapulting himself from T50 to T17.
With 11 PGA Tour titles to his name, Justin Leonard knows what it’s like to win and that will come in handy tomorrow in the heat of the battle. However, there are ten players within six shots who may beg to differ.