Phoenix Open Golf Tournament : Love Is Erratic but Has 2-Shot Lead Over Couples After a 66

United Press International

Davis Love III fired an erratic five-under-par 66 Saturday to move into a two-shot lead after three rounds of the $650,000 Phoenix Open golf tournament.

Love, the first-round leader, recorded eight birdies and three bogeys for a three-day total of 197.

Fred Couples was second at 199 after a 67. Another four strokes back was David Frost after a 70.

An estimated 71,000 people watched the tournament Saturday--the largest crowd for a non-football sporting event in Arizona.

Love erased a two-shot deficit with birdies on four of his first five holes at the 6,992-yard Tournament Players Club of Scottsdale but never managed to get into a groove.

"I hit it a little better than I did (Friday), and I made a few putts," Love said. "I played kind of steady. I didn't do anything outstanding, but I didn't do anything sloppy, either."

In fact, Love went the first six holes without making par, with two bogeys to go with four birdies.

"It was kind of weird standing at the seventh tee and still trying to make par," he said. "I got it together after that."

One hole later, Love moved into the lead for good when second-round leader Chip Beck bogeyed the par-three seventh hole.

However, Love still had to hold off the challenge of Couples, who used an eagle and a birdie on the first two holes to take a short-lived lead.

Beck had problems, with five bogeys and only one birdie in a 75. That left him tied for fourth with Sandy Lyle at 204.

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