NISSAN OPEN CLOSER LOOK: PROOF IS IN THE PUTTING FOR MATTIACE LONG SHOT HAS CHANCE TO CLAIM FIRST PGA TITLE.Byline: Matthew Kredell Staff Writer
Len Mattiace Leonard Earl "Len" Mattiace (born October 15, 1967) is a professional golfer on the PGA Tour.
Mattiace was born in Mineola, New York. He attended Nease High School in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. He graduated from Wake Forest University in 1990 with a degree in Sociology. was a long shot entering the Nissan Open The Northern Trust Open, formally known as the Nissan Open and originally known as the Los Angeles Open, is a regular golf tournament on the PGA Tour. It is played annually in February in Pacific Palisades, California. . But long shots aren't fazing Mattiace these days.
Going for his first title on the PGA Tour The PGA Tour is an organization that operates the USA's main professional golf tours. It is headquartered in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, USA. Its name is officially rendered in all caps as “PGA TOUR". , Mattiace buried four putts from at least 20 feet Saturday, including a 70-foot eagle on No. 1 that briefly tied him for the lead with Toru Taniguchi Toru Taniguchi (born 10 February 1968) is a Japanese golfer.
Taniguchi was born in Nara. He has won 14 tournaments on the Japan Golf Tour (ranks tied 13th on the career victories list), topped the money list in 2002, and is eighth on the career money list. .
Mattiace shot a 4-under 67 at Riviera Country Club The Riviera Country Club is a country club with a championship golf course. It is located in Pacific Palisades, California, within the city limits of Los Angeles, California. The country club opened in 1926, with George C. Thomas, Jr. as the course architect. and holds third place, two strokes behind UCLA UCLA University of California at Los Angeles
UCLA University Center for Learning Assistance (Illinois State University)
UCLA University of Carrollton, TX and Lower Addison, TX product Scott McCarron Scott Michael McCarron (born July 10 1965) is an American professional golfer.
McCarron was born in Sacramento, California and graduated from Christian Brothers High School. He has had PGA Tour victories in 1996, 1997 and 2001. and one behind Taniguchi, heading into today's final round.
``Today is probably one of the best days I ever had putting,'' said Mattiace, 34, in his 12th year on the tour. ``I never made as many (long) putts. I'm very happy with my score because I didn't really hit that well.''
Mattiace's dramatic long putts made up for 6-footers missed on No. 9 and No. 13, his only bogeys of the round. He finished with a roar from the crowd, just as he started, by sinking a 40-footer for birdie on No. 18 after a 30-footer on No. 17.
He couldn't explain his rise, but after following an opening-round 69 with a 65 Friday and then the 67, Mattiace is in a position in which he hasn't found himself for a while - on the leaderboard lead·er·board
A board that displays the leaders in a competition.
a board displaying the current scores of the leading competitors, esp in a golf tournament .
Mattiace placed in the top 10 in just two tournaments in 2001. His best PGA Tour finish was tying for second in the 1999 Sony Open and 1996 Buick Challenge The Buick Challenge was a golf tournament on the PGA Tour from 1970 to 2002. It was played at the Callaway Gardens Resort (Mountain View Course), Pine Mountain, Georgia from 1991 to 2002 and at the Green Island Country Club in Columbus, Georgia from 1970 to 1990. .
But the Jacksonville, Fla., resident said he has been ready to break out since a strong offseason.
``I feel I'm good enough to do some things,'' Mattiace said. ``I feel like I've been seeing some good things the past month or two but have not been making the putts. I have not been scoring as well as I thought I could, but now the ball is going into the hole.''
Mattiace will have plenty of time to think about today's round with no family or friends in town.
``I'll think about where the pins are going to be, how I'm playing, my swing,'' he said. ``I think about everything. I'm by myself, so I can think about the whole gamut of stuff. I have a great wife and two girls I can't say I like being away from. But things get easier when I don't have a lot of friends here.''
That's quite a contrast from the leader, McCarron, who said he needed 15 to 20 tickets for friends.
``Lenny played pretty well there,'' McCarron said. ``He made some big putts, especially at the beginning and end.''
If that stroke is working on the greens today, Mattiace could make some new friends for the next time he is in Los Angeles. He said nerves aren't a problem at this stage of his career.
``I'm more experienced now,'' Mattiace said. ``I feel more comfortable being in this situation. I like my chances.''
Hoping for his first victory on the PGA Tour, Len Mattiace shot a 4-under 67 Saturday at Riviera Country Club, good for third place in the Nissan Open.
Andy Holzman/Staff Photographer