ACE GROUP CLASSIC: Blake, Pernice tie for the lead, but drop back

William DeShazer/Staff
Jay Don Blake reacts after missing a 20 foot putt on the 18th green during the final round of the ACE Group Classic at TwinEagles Club in Naples on Sunday Feb. 17, 2013.

Photo by WILLIAM DESHAZER // Buy this photo

William DeShazer/Staff Jay Don Blake reacts after missing a 20 foot putt on the 18th green during the final round of the ACE Group Classic at TwinEagles Club in Naples on Sunday Feb. 17, 2013.

Jay Don Blake and Tom Pernice Jr. caught Bernhard Langer, and Blake briefly passed the eventual champion, but that was it for them at the ACE Group Classic at TwinEagles Club on Sunday.

After Langer, who had a four-shot lead earlier in the round, made back-to-back bogeys at Nos. 9 and 10, all three were tied for the lead.

Blake birdied the par-5 13th to briefly take the lead, but Langer came back with birdies on Nos. 13 and 14. Blake missed a 3-foot par putt on No. 16, and his 20-foot birdie putt on No. 18 just missed. On No. 16, Blake hit his tee shot on the par-3 in the bunker, but hit a good shot to get in position to save par.

"I hit it poorly," he said of the putt. "I had some bad thoughts. A lot of the putts I started missing I was kind of missing out to the right, and this putt broke left to right, and the wind was blowing left to right, and I just watched Mark Wiebe's putt come up that same line, and it really broke right.

"So my thought's 'Well, you're pushing them right, wind blowing right, everything's going right. I mean, I never got a good, confident thought in my head to hit a good stroke, and I just pulled it. Terrible putt."

Pernice bogeyed No. 11, and didn't recover.

"It was a good week but not good enough," said the Allianz Championship runner-up, who tied for third. "I struggled on the back nine. I bogeyed 11 and that stalled my momentum."

Pernice tried to get it back, but missed a short birdie putt on No. 12, then missed 10- to 15-footers on Nos. 13 and 15. Coming to the par-5 No. 17, he was down two shots and went for the green in two.

"That cooked my goose," he said. "I hit a hook and it was just a bad shot. I was down two and I was trying to be aggressive."

The others to make a charge up the leader board were too far back to catch the leaders.

John Cook tied Pernice by making birdies on Nos. 16 and 18. Calusa Pines Golf Club member Rocco Mediate, who won his Champions Tour debut in Boca Raton, birdied the last three holes to tie David Frost for fifth at 8 under.

""That was fun," Mediate said. "I didn't have it. I was kind of crappy a lot of the times, then Ii got it, and I felt a little bit better, and then bang, hit a bunch of good shots coming in and I made the putts. It was fantastic.

"(Cook is) so good, it's ridiculous. We should be getting better, but he's really good. He's still really good. It's cool to see that."

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