Golf Roundup : O'Meara, Simpson Share Third-Round Lead in TPC

From Times Wire Services

Mark O'Meara, who finished a seven-under-par 65 Saturday morning in the completion of the rain-delayed second round, and Scott Simpson shared the lead after 54 holes of the $1-million Tournament Players Championship at Ponte Vedra, Fla.

O'Meara and Simpson are at 202 going into today's final round on the rain-soaked TPC course at Sawgrass as the tournament is finally back on schedule after two days of storm disruptions and delays.

O'Meara, one of 72 players stranded on the course by a Friday afternoon thunderstorm, came back at daylight Saturday and moved into a tie for the 36-hole lead with longshot Steve Jones.

O'Meara, a non-winner for two seasons, came back with a 69 in the afternoon.

He birdied the second hole of the third round and held the top spot alone until bogeying the 18th. He pulled a 3-iron second shot into the water, took a drop and got up and down, holing a 12-foot putt.

With Jones fading, Simpson came in with a 68 and tied O'Meara. They shared a two-stroke lead over Ben Crenshaw and Scotland's Sandy Lyle, who each shot 66s.

Greg Norman, the Australian who won the British Open and nine other international titles last year, was tied at 206 with Billy Glasson and Paul Azinger. Norman shot a 71. Glasson and Azinger each had a 68, the latter getting birdies on the last four holes.

Jones, the overnight leader, made two double bogeys in a round of 76 that dropped him back to 209.

Several of golf's premier players failed to qualify for the final 36 holes when the cut was established at 143, one under par, after the second round was completed.

Among the casualties were Jack Nicklaus (144), Tom Watson (145), PGA champion Bob Tway (144), U.S. Open titleholder Ray Floyd (150), Lanny Wadkins (145), Johnny Miller (145) and Lee Trevino (151).

Pat Bradley went back to the putter that earned her Player of the Year honors in 1986 and set a Moon Valley Country Club record with a six-under-par 67 to share the third-round lead in the $300,000 LPGA Turquoise tournament at Phoenix.

Penny Pulz, who began the round with a two-shot lead, shot a 75 and settled for a tie with Bradley at 216.

Bradley, 36, took advantage of every birdie opportunity en route to her best round of the year.

She birdied the first hole, sinking an 8-footer, and then dropped in a 20-foot downhill putt on the par-3 fifth hole before getting back-to-back birdies on Nos. 7 and 8 with 5- and 10-foot putts. Bradley birdied two holes on the back nine, stroking in putts from 8 and 15 feet on Nos. 10 and 12.

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