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Weir has lead, no wiggle room

September 01, 2008|From the Associated Press

Mike Weir holed a five-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole for a four-under-par 67 to take a one-stroke lead Sunday in the Deutsche Bank Championship at Norton, Mass., leaving him in a familiar position with hopes of a better outcome.

It is the 10th time the Canadian has had at least a share of the 54-hole lead on the PGA Tour, but he has only one victory when leading going into the final round.

Protecting this one might be the toughest challenge yet.

Camilo Villegas ignored swirling wind and increasingly firm conditions at TPC Boston to shoot 63, putting him in the final group with Weir for perhaps his best chance at his first PGA Tour victory.

Three shots behind were Sergio Garcia (68) and Vijay Singh (69), part of the playoff last week at The Barclays that Singh won to move to the top of the standings in the PGA Tour Playoffs for the FedEx Cup.

And right behind them were Jim Furyk, looking for his first victory in an otherwise solid year, Ernie Els and Ben Crane, whose 63 came during the morning before the wind hit full strength.

"I've got my hands full," said Weir, who was at 17-under 196.

Ten players were separated by five shots going into the Labor Day finish, the kind of shootout the Deutsche Bank Championship always seems to produce.

Tiger Woods isn't around to take part in this one, and neither is defending champion Phil Mickelson. He played an ordinary round of one-over 72 and missed the 54-hole cut.


Jeff Sluman won the First Tee Open for his second Champions Tour victory, closing with a five-under 67 at Pebble Beach for a five-stroke victory over Fuzzy Zoeller and Craig Stadler.

Sluman, a six-time PGA Tour winner who won the Bank of America Championship in June for his first Champions Tour title, had a 14-under 202 total. He opened with a 69 at Del Monte and shot a 66 on Saturday at Pebble Beach.


France's Gregory Havret shot a three-under 70 for a one-stroke victory in the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles, Scotland, and England's Oliver Wilson finished 10th to clinch Europe's 10th and final automatic Ryder Cup spot.

After the tournament, Ryder Cup Captain Nick Faldo used his two picks on Englishmen Ian Poulter and Paul Casey, a decision that left Darren Clarke off the European team for the first time since 1995.

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