Stuart Appleby blasted out of the greenside bunker on the 18th hole during the third round.
Appleby making Texas look a lot like Kapalua
HUMBLE, Texas » Stuart Appleby has brought some of his Hawaiian touch to the Shell Houston Open.
Appleby remained in position yesterday to join Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson as the only two-time winners on the PGA Tour this year, shooting a 3-under 69 to take a two-stroke lead over Sweden's Mathias Gronberg.
Appleby won the season-opening Mercedes Championships at Kapalua for the third straight time in January. He has felt a similar level of confidence this week.
"You keep thinking when you're throwing a dart, it's just going to keep hitting the middle of the bull's-eye," Appleby said. "No matter, you throw left-handed or one-eyed or whatever, you just feel comfortable that things are very much within you."
Appleby had five birdies in his third straight sub-70 at The Tournament Course at Redstone to finish at 14 under. The Australian bogeyed the difficult 18th, a hole he birdied at the end of a 66 in the first round.
Just about everything else has gone Appleby's way. He has hit 30 of 42 fairways and 42 of 54 greens in regulation through three rounds.
"There's a feeling. It's a confident feeling that you like the way your game feels," Appleby said. "Most of the time, all the Kapaluas, I've come in, I've liked the way I've played and putted. Kapalua has bred confidence in me. There's a theme there."
Now all he has to do is finish the job in Texas.
"There's a lot of golf, 25 percent of the tournament still left out there," Appleby said. "I might be leading -- but that only means that I'm leading."