Dudley Hart faced his greatest fears last summer when doctors found a softball-sized lump on his wife’s lung, which kept him off tour the last half of the season to care for his triplets while she recovered.
All things considered, staring down Vijay Singh in the final round at Pebble Beach no longer seems quite as intimidating.
Hart, who hasn’t been in serious contention in nearly four years, finally got the best of Spyglass Hill on Saturday with a bogey-free round of 4-under-par 68 for a share of the lead with Singh at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am at Pebble Beach, Calif.
Singh made an eagle on the par-5 12th at Spyglass on his way to a 67 to join Hart at 9-under 207, the highest score to lead after 54 holes at Pebble Beach since 1990.
They were two shots ahead of PGA Tour rookie Dustin Johnson and Michael Allen.
Defending champion Phil Mickelson lost all hope of being the first repeat winner at Pebble since Mark O’Meara in 1989-90 when he took an 11 on the par-5 14th and went from trying to stay in contention to missing the cut.
Hart has not had at least a share of the lead since the 1996 Canadian Open, which he went on to win for the first of his two victories. He is still trying to get back into a rhythm of tour life after a summer of uncertainty involving wife, Suzanne, who had two-thirds of her right lung removed but is getting back to normal.
Jerry Pate moved into position for his second straight victory, shooting a 5-under 67 to take a one-stroke lead over Scott Hoch in the Allianz Championship at Boca Raton, Fla.
Pate, the Turtle Bay Championship winner two weeks ago in Hawaii, had an 11-under 133 total on The Old Course at Broken Sound.
He eagled the par-4 13th, holing a sand wedge from 95 yards. The ball landed about a foot past the cup, jumped another 2 or 3 feet and spun back into the hole.
John Cook (66), Bruce Lietzke (65), Mark McNulty (69) and Bobby Wadkins (68) were two shots back at 9 under, and defending champion Mark James (66) was 8 under along with Eduardo Romero (67), Jim Thorpe (67) and Ben Crenshaw (68).