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GOLF ROUNDUP

Pooley (63) Opens Up a Lead

June 30, 2002|From Associated Press

After the twisting putt rolled into the cup on the 18th hole, Don Pooley held his club up and flashed a broad smile to the appreciative gallery.

The 18-footer for par capped a record-setting round of eight-under-par 63 that thrust Pooley into the lead Saturday after three rounds of the U.S. Senior Open.

Pooley made an amazing nine birdies at the difficult 7,005-yard Caves Valley Golf Club in Owings Mills, Md. He set a tournament record for low score over 18 holes and finished the day at nine-under 204, three shots ahead of Tom Watson and second-round leader Walter Hall.

"A lot of great things happened today," said Pooley, seeking his first win in a PGA event since the 1987 Memorial. "I hit good shots at times, I got good bounces at times and obviously putted very well. It was a fun round to play."

Watson shot a 69, and Hall bogeyed the final two holes for a 72.

Ed Dougherty made five birdies en route to a 68 that left him four shots back, and Tom Kite was at 209 after a wild 73 that included five bogeys and a double bogey.

R.W. Eaks continued his swoon after his opening 64, following a 73 Friday with a 78 that dropped him out of contention.

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Glen Hnatiuk, who had never had a lead in a PGA tournament before this week, proved he can protect one, shooting a third consecutive six-under 65 that kept him atop the leaderboard with a four-stroke margin after three rounds of the St. Jude Classic at Memphis, Tenn.

Hnatiuk put himself in position to win his first title wire-to-wire with an eight-birdie, two-bogey round that gave him an 18-under 195 total.

"Obviously, I'm happy with the position I'm in. I don't know how to react because I've never been in this position with any kind of lead. I'm looking forward to it," he said.

Notah Begay, enjoying his best tournament since a back injury essentially wiped out his 2001 season, shot a 68 and was tied at 14 under with Tim Petrovic (66) and Matt Kuchar (67). Pat Bates (69) was five strokes back.

David Toms (65), Tripp Isenhour (64) and Neal Lancaster (64) were tied at 12-under 201.

"Anybody in that pack has a chance to win I suppose," Hnatiuk said. "If I let it."

Hnatiuk's best finish since joining the tour in 1998 was a tie for third at the 2000 B.C. Open, and he noted he played in the last group on Saturday and was next-to-last on Sunday in that event. He tied for eighth at Kemper earlier this month and has five top-25 finishes.

"I'm not going to do anything stupid, not going to take any crazy chances. But I still have to go on, go forward," he said.

Begay, who chased down the leader in three of his four victories, said Hnatiuk will have to deal with nerves. Hnatiuk currently ranks 99th on the money list with $341,192 in earnings, and the winner of this tournament will take home a $684,000 check.

"It's just a fact of life," Begay said. "Everybody who's won, who's been there, knows that. Now it just depends on how Glen handles it. He handled it great today. It didn't look like it affected him in the least.... We're sort of going to be chasing a rabbit."

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Juli Inkster birdied five of the last six holes after a blowup on the 13th tee and took a one-shot lead heading into the final round of the ShopRite LPGA Classic at Galloway Township, N.J.

First-round leader Kate Golden was in second place after a double bogey on No. 17, and Annika Sorenstam was again threatening after a second-round 67 left her three shots off the lead in this final tuneup for next week's U.S. Women's Open.

Six players were within three shots of Inkster, who had a 67 for a two-round total of 10-under 132.

Pat Hurst was in third place at eight under, and Sorenstam was in a group at seven under with Jenny Lidback and Lorie Kane.

Inkster began her surge after spiking her iron into the grass on the 13th hole.

"Sometimes I have to vent," said Inkster, who has six top-10 finishes and a victory this year.

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