England’s Eason goes from the bubble and beers to PGA Tour contention

Albertsons Boise Open third-round highlights

Watch some key shots from the third round of the Albertsons Boise Open.
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Watch some key shots from the third round of the Albertsons Boise Open.

Greg Eason of England was 70th on the Tour money list going into the last event of the regular season. The top 75 retain their playing privileges for the next season and qualify for the Tour Finals.

He missed the cut in that event in Portland, then flew home to Orlando, Fla.

During the final round, he went “out for a few beers on my own” and stared at his phone.

“I ran out of battery checking the refresh button so often,” he said.

The Tour’s online leaderboard shows projected money list rankings throughout the round. He borrowed a phone to get the final results.

“With an hour to go, I was at 76,” he said. “I couldn’t believe it. ... I thought I was clear. And then I wasn’t really clear. Luckily, I managed to scrape in by a couple of thousand, which at this point sounds plenty, but at the time was a little more nerve-racking than that.”

His reaction when he finished 74th?

“Delighted,” he said. “Delighted. I had a couple more beers.”

Eason, 24, is in position to make the most of his second chance. He shot a third-round 65 on Saturday at Hillcrest Country Club to jump into a tie for seventh at 12-under. A top-five finish in a finals event is considered enough to secure a spot on the PGA Tour for next season.

“I was so close last year,” he said of finishing 43rd on the finals money list. “Coming down the last few holes I only needed one more birdie and I would have made the (PGA Tour). ... If you play well, you’ll make it through. If you play crap, you won’t. The quality of the field is obviously fantastic.”

Aldridge makes a move

Tyler Aldridge of Nampa shot a 65 in the third round to climb into a tie for 14th at 10-under. He jumped 31 spots — the second-largest move of the day.

“It was moving day. It’s time to put up a good score,” Aldridge said. “... I’m looking forward to tomorrow and plan on putting up a good number.”

Beef in the Ryder Cup? ‘Chaos’

Second-round leader Andrew “Beef” Johnston struggled in the third round with a 1-under 70. But that didn’t change his demeanor. He still embraced the crowd — literally at times — and spent at least 20 minutes signing autographs and posing for photos outside the clubhouse after the round. He signed one woman’s cell phone.

Later, Johnston was asked what a Ryder Cup would be like with him in it.

“Chaos!” he said. “I’d love it, man. I’d have loved to play this one in the States. I think it would have been really difficult for you guys. ... Even if they booed me for like three days solid, I’d still have love for them after.”

Stallings, No. 15 don’t get along

Co-leader Scott Stallings drove the green on the par-4 15th hole Saturday but three-putted for par. He was on the back of the green but had to putt the ball through the fringe.

That was better than Friday, when his tee shot resulted in a plugged lie in a greenside bunker. The ball was buried to the netting under the sand, so he could have taken a drop. But he already had trampled through the bunker and would have needed to drop the ball into his footprints.

He opted to play the ball from its original spot and made a double-bogey.

“It was a bad break, but if I would have been a little more attentive to the situation, I wouldn’t have made double-bogey,” he said.

On Thursday, his tee shot ended up by a tree and he made a par.

“I’ve hit three awesome tee shots and I’ve played the hole 2-over,” Stallings said.

Will he try laying up on Sunday?

“No, man, I’m not laying up,” he said.

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