Golf

Adam Scott and Sergio Garcia share four-shot lead at Honda Classic

Adam Scott, of Australia, takes a drop after hitting into the water on the 15th hole during the third round of the Honda Classic golf tournament, Saturday, Feb. 27, 2016, in Palm Beach Gardens.
Adam Scott, of Australia, takes a drop after hitting into the water on the 15th hole during the third round of the Honda Classic golf tournament, Saturday, Feb. 27, 2016, in Palm Beach Gardens. AP

On the PGA Tour, it’s not every day that a player takes a quadruple-bogey on a hole and still finishes in a tie for the tournament lead.

At the Honda Classic on Saturday, that’s exactly what Adam Scott somehow accomplished — feeling bad about his 7 on the par-3 15th and feeling good about what was otherwise a superb round.

Scott’s quadruple bogey was a dubious feat that even somewhat befuddled him as he shot 4-under-par 66 for the day and posted 9-under 201 through three rounds. The quadruple tainted, but could not ruin, a day of precise shot-making that included eight birdies on the Champion Course at PGA National Resort & Spa.

The beneficiary of Scott’s one-hole tragedy: Sergio Garcia.

The Spaniard put together a 3-under 67 to match Scott’s 201 total and joined him at the top of the leaderboard.

“I guess that’s why they call it the Bear Trap,” Scott said of holes 15, 16 and 17. “No. 15 got me good [Saturday].”

The Bear Trap on the Champion Course is named after Jack Nicklaus, the man who is nicknamed the Golden Bear and helped design the three holes.

“I’ve experienced things along these lines plenty of times in this game,” Scott said. “And you know, I didn’t hit too many bad shots to make that 7. That’s how challenging holes like 15, 16 and 17 are.”

Scott’s 7, which will leave many a hacker happily saying he or she could do better, came in this fashion:

Strokes 1-2: Scott’s tee shot of 171 yards to the pin comes up short and slightly right into the water, penalty stroke; Strokes 3-4: From the drop zone, 118 yards to the pin, his ball hits the green and rolls through it and trickles into the water, penalty stroke; Stroke 5: From drop zone again, Scott’s ball lands on the green and stops 10 feet from the pin; Stroke 6: Putt misses. Stroke 7: Scott makes his putt of 18 inches.

Agony finally over.

While playing the hole, Scott just shook his head and even appeared to half-smile.

Explaining that unexpected smile, he good-naturedly said, “What else can you do?”

And his thoughts while playing the hole: “I was just trying to keep a ball dry.”

Scott can’t argue that he wasn’t warned about the difficulty of the Bear Trap. Near the 15th tee there is a huge facsimile of a bear, and next to it stands a plaque that ominously reads, “IT SHOULD BE WON OR LOST RIGHT HERE.”

Scott learned in the harshest of ways the truth of those words.

And, as he put it, “I’m disappointed not to have walked out of here and shot 62 or something, but it might be Sunday I can do that.”

Not looking back but moving forward, Scott said he will be ready to play and battle Garcia, a friend, in Sunday’s final round.

“I think we’re both pretty desperate to have a win Sunday after putting ourselves in this position,” Scott said. “Hopefully, we both play well, and it’s a good show.”

Scott and Garcia will be battling each other but also will keep a wary eye on third-place Blayne Barber (69-205), and also Justin Thomas (68-206) and Rickie Fowler (74-206), who are in a tie for fourth.

Fowler, the leader after two rounds, had a tough outing Saturday. After going bogey-free for the first two days, the streak was broken on the third hole. Fowler then added three more bogeys the rest of the way.

“Struggling on the greens,” Fowler said. “With nothing going in, it’s hard to get any momentum or anything going.”

But Fowler was not ready to concede that the final round will come down to a two-man show between Scott and Garcia.

What does Fowler need to do to win?

“Just a solid round of golf and be in good position,” he said. “But, obviously, I’m a little further back than I would have liked to be.”

Honda Classic

At PGA National Resort and Spa,

The Champion

Palm Beach Gardens

Purse: $6.1 million

Yardage: 7,140; Par 70 (35-35)

Third Round

Sergio Garcia 65-69-67—201

Adam Scott 70-65-66—201

Blayne Barber 70-66-69—205

Justin Thomas 69-69-68—206

Rickie Fowler 66-66-74—206

Graeme McDowell 71-69-67—207

Vijay Singh 69-70-68—207

Scott Brown 70-67-70—207

Luke List 73-65-70—208

John Senden 71-66-71—208

Billy Horschel 73-70-66—209

Gary Woodland 70-72-67—209

Greg Owen 69-71-69—209

Sam Saunders 69-74-67—210

Bronson Burgoon 72-71-67—210

Brooks Koepka 70-71-69—210

Camilo Villegas 72-69-69—210

Sean O’Hair 69-72-69—210

Alex Cejka 71-70-69—210

Jamie Donaldson 72-67-71—210

David Lingmerth 67-71-72—210

Tom Hoge 70-73-68—211

Smylie Kaufman 70-72-69—211

Shane Lowry 67-75-69—211

Graham DeLaet 72-70-69—211

Daniel Summerhays 71-70-70—211

Will MacKenzie 71-70-70—211

Chesson Hadley 70-71-70—211

Sung Kang 71-69-71—211

Russell Knox 70-70-71—211

William McGirt 66-72-73—211

Paul Casey 69-74-69—212

Spencer Levin 73-70-69—212

George McNeill 67-75-70—212

Erik Compton 68-74-70—212

Andy Sullivan 71-71-70—212

Derek Fathauer 70-72-70—212

Brendan Steele 74-68-70—212

Jason Dufner 68-73-71—212

Morgan Hoffmann 75-65-72—212

Hudson Swafford 71-65-76—212

Jimmy Walker 67-66-79—212

Kyle Stanley 73-70-70—213

Kevin Kisner 72-71-70—213

Phil Mickelson 69-74-70—213

Freddie Jacobson 72-71-70—213

Will Wilcox 70-73-70—213

Steve Wheatcroft 71-71-71—213

Jeff Overton 72-69-72—213

Padraig Harrington 73-68-72—213

Stewart Cink 73-68-72—213

Davis Love III 71-69-73—213

Brett Stegmaier 72-67-74—213

Ken Duke 75-65-73—213

Andrew Loupe 71-68-74—213

John Huh 71-72-71—214

Ryan Palmer 73-68-73—214

Ian Poulter 71-69-74—214

Patton Kizzire 75-64-75—214

Retief Goosen 71-72-72—215

Ben Martin 71-72-72—215

Colt Knost 75-67-73—215

Stuart Appleby 70-72-73—215

Emiliano Grillo 72-70-73—215

Seung-Yul Noh 75-67-73—215

Justin Hicks 67-75-73—215

Luke Donald 75-67-73—215

Robert Streb 73-68-74—215

Tyrone Van Aswegen 71-70-74—215

Ernie Els 71-72-73—216

Francesco Molinari 73-68-75—216

Darron Stiles 69-72-75—216

Michael Kim 72-71-74—217

Mark Hubbard 71-70-76—217

Dawie van der Walt 71-68-78—217

Michael Thompson 65-73-79—217

Si Woo Kim 68-74-77—219

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