<div class="breakout">ROUND 3 LEADERBOARD Jeff

July 3, 2011 at 2:03 a.m.

Erick Justeson suffered in the midday heat, working on his putting on the practice green near the clubhouse at Victoria Country Club.

The day had been good to him. He had found a way to climb into an 11th place tie in the standings heading into the final day of the Victoria Texas Open with a 4-under 67, but he had been miserable all day long. And being out in the midday sun during the heat of the day was not the Sacramento, Calif., native's idea of a good time.

"It's just brutal in the morning," said the first-year member of the NGA Hooters Tour. "Golf is tough when you're playing with slippery grips. There have been guys out here playing with rain gloves."

He's one of the players contending with temperatures that have been in the mid-90s, but with the heat index and humidity making it feel more like it's in the mid-100s by late morning. Some players have managed it more than others. Unlike previous days, Saturday was a mostly windless day save a brief lightning delay when a few gusts blew through around 2 p.m.

While it made the golf course at Victoria Country Club play much more tame than previous days, it also made for several uncomfortable hours for the unprepared on the course.

Andrew Loupe, a native of Baton Rouge, La., said he tried not to be one of those players. He changed gloves several times throughout the day.

"When it's like that in the morning, its tough to keep your hands dry," he said as he came off the golf course. "You're just wiping your arms down. In the early morning, when there's no wind, you just start pouring sweat."

Nick Rousey, from Pensacola, Fla., is used to the heat and humidity. But holding onto the clubs in it is a whole other matter.

"I don't wear gloves," he said. "I just have to keep the towel wet and keep drying my handles off.

"I've definitely had to wear shorts on Christmas day, so I'm accustomed to it."

Having experienced playing in the dry heat of California's Central Valley, Justerson said there was one positive he could take away from the humid heat that has affected the rounds of many golfers in the Victoria Texas Open.

"At least I don't feel like my skin is always on fire," he said.


Several players made their moves on Saturday. Justeson moved into contention from the middle of the pack, and Loupe shot a 3-under to stay in contention, although he said he would have to shoot no less than in the mid-60s to have a chance.

But Rousey, a former University of Alabama golfer, took his shot at the top spot, shooting a 5-under 66 on Saturday to move into second place behind leader Jeff Corr, who had another big day with a 6-under.

This with contending with slick, dry greens that have been difficult to play all tournament long.

"I've been playing well," Rousey said. "Hitting some shots close and taking advantage of the par 5s. ... The greens have been very hard to read. It's hard to see the breaks and see the line."

Rousey is riding high from the week before, when he went wire to wire at the Texas Honing Open in Pearland to win the tournament. Now he's in contention again, with a significant carry over from that event.

"Just kind of riding the high and doing a lot of things well and staying out of my own way," he said.

Then there's Corr, the undisputed leader so far at 15-under for the tournament, up three strokes after shooting a birdie on the 18th hole to increase his lead heading into the final round. Rousey knows he has to be on top of his game on Sunday.

"He's one of the best out here," Rousey said of the leader. "I just have to come out here and play like I have."


The top group of Nick Rousey, Jeff Corr and James Vargas will tee off from the first hole at 9:30 a.m. Corr leads the tournament with a 15-under overall, three shots up on Rousey and four on Vargas.

Fourth through sixth place will start at 9:20 a.m. off the first tee, with Parker LaBarge (9-under), Craig Kanada (8-under) and Loupe (8-under) beginning their final round.


Sunday's weather is expected to be about the same as Saturday.

The chance of rain is only about 10 percent, and the winds are supposed to come out of the south at about 10 mph. The temperature will be in the mid-90s, with the humidity pushing that up toward or over 100 degrees.



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