GOLF ROUNDUP : Stadler, Cochran Tied in Tour Championship

From Associated Press

Craig Stadler relinquished his advantage on the scoreboard, but he might have one in the weather.

Stadler's three-putt bogey on the last hole dropped him into a tie with Russ Cochran for the lead Saturday after three rounds of the season-ending, $2-million Tour Championship at Pinehurst, N.C.

They shared the top spot at 208, five under par, going into today's final round.

Cochran, one of the rare left-handers on the PGA Tour, was bemoaning the weather forecast, however, after his round of par 71 on the No. 2 course at Pinehurst.

It called for an overnight low in the 30s and a high today in the 50s--precisely what Cochran did not want in the chase for a $360,000 first prize.

"I hate cold weather," he said. "I'd rather play in the rain."

Stadler said he had no such problem.

"It doesn't matter to me. If it's cold, I'll just put my sweater on," he said.

Stadler scored an eagle-3 in his round of 72 and was leading until the three-putt lapse on the final hole.

Fred Couples holed out a 108-yard wedge shot for an eagle-2 in the best round of the tournament, a five-under-par 66 that gave him a leg up in his battle with Corey Pavin for all the major season-long titles.

Couples was third at 211 and within reach of the lead. Pavin had a 72 in the gusty winds and was seven behind the lead with a 215 total.

Pavin and Couples are 1-2 in the money-winning standings. Couples is first and Pavin second in the race for the Vardon Trophy that goes to the player with the best scoring average. They are tied for the lead in the point standings for the PGA player of the year. All three races end in this event.

PGA champion John Daly shot 68, one of the few sub-par rounds of the windy day, and moved back into contention at 212, one under par. He was tied with Nick Price and Bruce Lietzke.

Seve Ballesteros shot a 71, Jose Rivero had a 72, and their total was good enough to keep Spain in the World Cup lead at Rome.

But the round cost Ballesteros the individual lead, with Masters champion Ian Woosnam moving in front by two strokes.

Ballesteros and Rivero finished the third round with a 422, two strokes better than Sweden's team of Anders Forsbrand and Per-Ulrik Johansson.

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