Gene Littler proved he was human today by taking his first bogey, after 43 holes, but the wan-faced "mechanical man" still managed to keep a four-stroke lead over Jack Nicklaus with 206 total after three rounds of the PGA Championship at Pebble Beach.
Former Masters champion Charles Coody came on with a 70 and was third at 211.
Little bogeyed the eighth hole after a string of 31 pars and 12 birdies. The eighth, which requires a blind tee shot, then cuts across an edge of the Pacific to a plateau, has a small green that Littler missed.
But the closest anybody came to [TEXT OMITTED FROM SOURCE]
Little bogeyed the eights hole after Gee was in pursuit until the 14th, when he made a triple-bogey eight. Nicklaus started the day at four under and played the first nine holes in 33 to go seven under. Nicklaus maintained his steady pace with pars until the 16th and 17th, which he bogeyed, three feet on the 18th for a 70 and a three feet on the 18th for a 70 and a 210 total.
George Cadle was seven under until he double bogeyed the 17th (he three-putted) and then bogeyed the 18th, finishing with a 70 for a 212.
Tom Watson finally got back his were reground by the Ram Company ruled illegal Wednesday because the grooves were too wide. The clubs were reground by the Ram Company and air-Freighted from Chicago, but they didn't help Watson much. He finished with a 71.
Lenny Wadkins, who started the day four under par, was six under through the 14th hole, and then bogeyed the 14th, which has been a nightmare because of tough pin placements and a tricky green.
Watson and Nicklaus were playing in a threesome with McGee, but this was hardly like the two head-to-head confrontations between Nicklaus and Watson in the Masters and British Open, both won by Watson.
Watson got off to a poor start when he went into the deep rough on his second shot. He popped the ball out eight feet from the pin, but missed the putt and took a bogey.
McGee, who started at six under, picked up a birdie on the third hole when he put an eight-iron shot a foot from the hole. But he lost the stroke when he bogeyed the 11th, where another blind tee shot leads to a slight dogleg.
Wadkins, who hasn't won a tournament since 1973 and was out almost two years because of a gall bladder condition that required surgery, opened the day tied with Nicklaus. He birdied the first and second holes and barely missed a six-footer for another birdie on the third.
Cadle, one of those aces who come out of the deck unexpectedly, started at two under and made the turn in 33, with four birdies and one bogey. He also birdied the 11th.
Former U.S. and Canadian open champion Jerry Pate shot a 69, and Dr. Gil Morgan, a nonpracting optometrist, had a 70 to the Wadkins and Cadle.
Some other scores: U.S. Open champion Hubert Green, 76-227; Lee Trevino, 71-215; Arnold Palmer, 73-218; Gary Player, 68-219; defending titleholder Dave Stockton, 69-219, and Johnny Miller, 73-217.
Larry Ringer, the club pro at the Naval Academy, was paired with Sam Snead in the last twosome to go off the 10th tee. "I'm thrilled to be playing with Mr. Snead," Ringer bubbled. "I'm really tickled to be playing with one of the legends of the game."
However, the old master's magic didn't rub off on Ringer, who was four over par on the back nine while Snead was one under for a 34.
Ringer bogeyed the 10th, 12th, 14th, 16th and 17th holes in an unhappy progression but saves himself from complete disaster by sinking a birdie putt of eight feet on the 18th.[TEXT OMMITTED FROM SOURCE]
Austin, 29, who turned pro in 1968, had a 54-hole total of 208 heading into Sunday's final round at the par-72, 6,250-yeard Colonie Hill Golf Club. Blalock carded a 70 today for a total of 210.
Nancy Lopez, a rookie from Roswell, N.M., was three under par at 69 for a three-round 211.
The field of 63, battling for a top prize of $15,000, was forced to suspend play for 55 minutes in the early afternoon because of a heavy rainstorm.
Betsy King of Limokiln, Pa., playing in her first PGA tournament, dropped from the halfway lead into a three-way tie for sixth, shooting a three-over-par 75. She was tied with Karolyn Kertzman and Mary Lous Crocker at 213.
Kathy Whitworth of Richardson, Tex., and Sandra Palmer of Palm Springs, Calif., shared fourth place at 212. They shot 70 and 72, respectively.