Small makes major move

Small makes major move

HIGHLAND PARK — Illinois men’s golf coach Mike Small continues to turn heads at the Champions Tour’s Constellation Senior Players Championship.

The Danville native started Saturday’s third round at Exmoor Country Club on a roll — he was 7-under through 15 holes to draw within one stroke of the lead — but a bogey on 17 halted some of that momentum and Small finished at 6-under 66 for the day. 

Small begins today’s final round two shots back of leaders Bart Bryant, Scott McCarron and Jeff Maggert, all three of whom are tied at 16-under par in the fourth of five majors on the senior tour schedule.

McCarron and Bryant shot matching 65s on Saturday, with the former posting birdies on two of the final four holes.

Maggert, who led most of the day, shot 66.

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Small is not a tour member and made the field with strong performances in three events where he received sponsors’ exemptions. He tied for 10th at the American Family Insurance Championship in Madison, Wis., in late June after tying for ninth at the Principal Charity Classic in Des Moines, Iowa, two weeks earlier.

"I'm happy," Small said after Friday's round. "I had more hard putts today. (Thursday) I hit it in spots where you can make putts, and these greens are very difficult from that point of view. If you hit it in the correct spots, you can make putts here all day long. But if you just get a foot or two on the other side of that, they're hard to read and they're fast and you're playing defensively."