Rocco Mediate's long putter took him a long way in the first three rounds of the Greater Greensboro Chrysler Classic in North Carolina.
Mediate, putting better than his PGA Tour statistics indicate, shot a six-under-par 66 Saturday for a two-shot lead over Mark Calcavecchia heading into the final round.
Mediate began the week 140th on tour in putting average, but needed only 25 putts in his third round and 77 through 54 holes.
"I've worked on a few things with my right-hand grip and slowed my pace down a lot--you know, things that we as professionals change every other day," Mediate said.
Mediate, the Greensboro winner in 1993, began the third round one stroke behind co-leaders Calcavecchia and Robert Gamez, but birdied his first three holes at Forest Oaks Country Club to tie for the lead. Mediate bogeyed his next two holes to fall from the top of the leaderboard as quickly as he got there. He rebounded on the back nine with three birdies in four holes for an opportunity for his fifth PGA Tour victory.
John Jacobs combined a sizzling putter with his trademark long drives to shoot a six-under-par 66 for a one-shot lead in the Countrywide Tradition, the Senior PGA Tour's first major, at Superstition Mountain, Ariz.
Jim Thorpe, who began the day in a three-way tie for the lead, chipped in from about 30 feet for an eagle on the par-five, 553-yard 18th hole to complete an up-and-down day and pull within a shot of the lead.
Jacobs was at 10-under 206 through 54 holes on the 7,228-yard Prospector course at Superstition Mountain Golf & Country Club. Thorpe shot a 70 for a nine-under 207. Bob Gilder birdied the 18th and was two back at 208.
After playing even par through the first two rounds, Jack Nicklaus struggled to an 81 on Saturday. Because of an ailing back, Nicklaus has not played a full tournament since July.
"I'm just worn out. I couldn't make anything happen," Nicklaus said. "I hit three greens in regulation today. Nothing was any good. It wasn't that my back hurt that much. I was just tired."
Sergio Garcia shot a five-under-par 67, building a five-stroke lead after three rounds of the Spanish Open at Las Palmas, Canary Islands.
Emanuele Canonica of Italy shot a 70 and is second at 207. Greg Owen of England was at 208, tied for third with 17-year-old Spanish amateur Rafael Cabrera.