Lou Graham shot an even-par 70 Saturday to take a 1-stroke lead over Walt Zembriski, but he knows he is anything but secure entering today’s final round of the $1-million Vantage Championship golf tournament at Clemmons, N.C.
“There’s a long way to go in this tournament,” said Graham, who became eligible for the PGA Seniors Tour in January but has yet to earn a victory. “I’ve won from 7 shots back (on the regular PGA Tour), so I know it can be done. A course like this presents a better opportunity to come back on. The more difficult the course, the easier it is to come from behind.”
Graham, the 1975 U.S. Open winner, made 2 birdies and 2 bogeys on the 6,606-yard Tanglewood course that has allowed only three players to post below-par scores through three rounds. He stands at 3-under-par 207.
Zembriski shot a 67 to move into second place at 208, while second-round co-leader Dick Rhyan withstood a shaky start to post a 72 and was at 211.
“Everybody up there (at the top of the leader board) can win tomorrow,” Zembriski said. “It’s according to how they set up the course tomorrow and who makes the putts.”
Defending champion Al Geiberger (69) was at 212, along with Jimmy Powell (69), Dave Hill (72) and Chick Evans (73).
Roberto de Vicenzo shot a 72 and scored a 1-stroke victory over Jack Fleck in the $100,000 Vantage Super Seniors competition for players age 60 and over. De Vicenzo, 65, avoided a playoff when Fleck missed a 10-foot par putt on the final hole. The victory was worth $25,000 for De Vicenzo.
Sandy Lyle of Scotland and Nick Faldo of England scored victories to make it an all-Briton final in the $450,000 World Matchplay Championship at Wentworth, England.
Lyle routed Severiano Ballesteros of Spain, 7 and 6, finishing 13 under par.
Faldo had to rally from 3 strokes down with 10 holes left to beat defending titleholder Ian Woosnam of Wales on the last green.
Lyle will be trying to win the title today in his fifth final. He lost the other four times, including his only other match against Ballesteros in this event, in 1982.
Brad Bryant birdied the final hole to overtake Mark Brooks and gain a share of the third-round lead in the $400,000 Southwest tournament at Abilene, Tex.
Bryant, 33, a non-winner since turning pro in 1976, had a 4-under-par 68, including a 12-foot birdie putt at the par-5 finishing hole.
He and Brooks, who had a 70, were deadlocked at 14-under-par 202 heading into today’s final round.
Dave Barr had a 68 and was third at 204.