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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, April 18, 2010

Wilson catches fire early at Mid-Pacific

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Honolulu Advertiser Special: Golf page

By Ann Miller
Advertiser Staff Writer

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Dean Wilson

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LANIKAI While Dean Wilson found the zone in the third round of the Mid-Pacific Open, most other golfers were having trouble just finding the green.

Wilson, who won nearly $8 million on the PGA Tour the past five years, torched Mid-Pacific Country Club's midsection yesterday to take a one-shot lead into today's final round.

The Castle High graduate started on the back nine and buried his first birdie putt on the 18th. Two holes later, he hit his approach shot to three feet and added another, then sank a 15-footer at No. 3. On the par-5 fifth, he slammed in a 45-foot eagle putt from the apron. He followed with a seven-foot birdie putt on the par-3 sixth.

Wilson was 6-under par in the space of seven holes. He caught tournament leader Samuel Cyr at 3-under with the eagle and passed him with the last birdie.

Wilson shot a 3-under 69 for the second straight day. He is at 3-under 213 for the week. Cyr (72) is a shot back and former Nationwide Tour player Nathan Lashley (70) two behind. No one else is under par at windy Mid-Pacific Country Club, where the greens are so fast and hard some were being watered moments after the final group finished them.

Wilson, who won The International on the PGA Tour in 2006 and captured six titles in Japan, compared the tough conditions to pro tours.

"Definitely, it's really, really fast," he said. "These greens are as fast and they'll be faster when you're going downhill, downwind. It's a little scary on some of these holes."

Cyr, from Makawao, turned pro in September after winning the last two NAIA championships for Point Loma Nazarene, where he was a four-time All-American. Aside from senior Stan Souza, who has shot 73 in all three breezy rounds and stands fourth, the King Kekaulike graduate has shown the most consistency.

Cyr has also brought out the most brawn. At 5 foot 9 and not quite 150 pounds, he makes Wilson look like a large guy, but he launched it by the 1991 WAC champion and former University of Hawai'i-Hilo golfer Nick Mason (78-220) most of the day.

Cyr three-putted his first hole for bogey, then parred the next nine before picking up his only two birdies. He was the only golfer under par at the turn in the third round.

"I was hitting it pretty good all day actually," Cyr said. "I just didn't make a putt outside five feet."

Neither did Wilson, until the birdie on the 18th got him going and his golf ball kept disappearing into the hole. Cyr called his no-fear/no-doubt 45-footer for eagle "bizarre" and brilliant, and said Wilson's two-hour surge made him feel even worse about what he was leaving behind.

"It's really frustrating watching someone make everything," Cyr said. "And I haven't made a putt."

Lashley, 27, comes from Nebraska and the University of Arizona. This year he has made six starts on the Gateway Tour and has three Top-10 finishes. Two have come in the past three weeks.

Wilson, Cyr and Lashley are the final group out today off the first tee. They are scheduled to tee off at 9:06 a.m. Admission is free.

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