"It was nice to finish 3 under, especially when I didn't feel my best."
Stallings and Watson have played together often, and it showed on the 14th. They cut up a little on that green, even when both missed the putt on the exact same line, with the exact same curl and ending point.
It was a good time to be cheerful. Both birdied the par-4 13th, the toughest hole in the tournament's short history. Watson could forget his bogey on No. 10, when he squandered a perfect drive by chunking a pitch from 64 yards out.
He put on another driving show, averaging 310.1 yards on 14 tee shots. He had 10 of 300 or more yards, including a 347-yarder on the seventh.
But Watson's long-hitting strategy got him in trouble on the 615-yard par-5 17th, and his deficient short game couldn't rescue him.
His perfect 321-yard drive left him 294 from the hole, and you cannot expect him to lay up from that distance. But this time he pushed his shot left, with the ball resting against the grandstand.
He got enough relief for a full swing, but didn't do much with it - he hit that 36-yard pitch short and to a grassy uphill lie, then advanced his next chip just 12 feet. He couldn't hit his 191/2-foot par putt, settling for a bogey and leaving him at 4 under.
Reach Doug Smock at 304-348-5140, dougsm...@wvgazette.com or follow him at twitter.com/dougsmock.