PGA Tour rookie Jeff Quinney heads into the final round of the FBR Open well aware he is the target for the chasing pack.
Quinney, 16 under par, saw his lead reduced to two shots by the charging Aaron Baddeley, whose seven-under-par 64 ensured there will be no easy ride on the final day.
“I’m happy with the performance,” said Quinney, whose third-round three-under-par 68 contained six birdies and three bogeys.
“Three-under on Saturday and there were some tough pins out there. I made some good birdies and some good shots.”
Quinney, who began the day at 13-under par, made birdie on his first hole, added another on the third and then went bogey-birdie-birdie to close out his front nine in 32.
He stumbled a bit on the back nine, making a bogey on the 10th hole and another on the 18th.
There are six players within four shots of Quinney and he knows any one of them could make a run.
“Guys are going to be firing at you,” Quinney said. “The greens are perfect, weather is perfect. I can’t just go out there and shoot par. I have to make birdies.”
One advantage Quinney has over Baddeley is he will be playing in the final group for the second consecutive day.
“It’s just all about how you handle it,” Quinney said. “It’s there, it’s just your choice how you handle it. I choose to have fun with it and just embrace it and people are there to have a good time.”
In Baddeley’s four previous appearances at the tournament he has missed the cut three times and finished tied for 49th the other. Only three rounds out of 10 were under par.
This year, however, Baddeley has scorched the TPC Scottsdale with rounds of 65, 70 and 64.
“I have been hitting it pretty nice all week,” Baddeley said. “I hit a couple of average tee shots but overall been driving it nice, hitting my irons nice. It’s always nice to make just a couple of putts.”
Baddeley has made more than a few putts. In the first round he had 20, including 14 one-putts and followed that with 26 putts in round three – one of which was a 48-footer at the 12th.
“I feel very comfortable with my game,” Baddeley said. “I’m just trying to focus on where I want to hit it and I’m not trying to do anything special. I actually shot away from a lot of pins (Saturday). I feel it was a very smart round.”
English duo Brian Davis and Justin Rose are tied for 30th on seven under after rounds of 67 and 66 respectively.