Rose Holds Slim Lead
Bogey-free and four strokes in front after 36 holes at the Buick Championship, Justin Rose went over par on No. 37. He kept his poise, though, and was still one stroke in front Saturday after three rounds at Cromwell, Conn.
Rose missed a 14-foot par putt on the opening hole and scrambled all day for an even-par 70 that had him at 12-under 198. It was just enough to hold off Ben Curtis, his playing partner.
Curtis, the 2003 British Open champion, shot a three-under 67. His only mistake was driving into the water on No. 17, costing him a share of the lead.
“We’ve both worked hard on our games this year and it’s starting to pay off,” Rose said. “It was nice playing with him today.”
Curtis, the first-round co-leader, is winless since that British Open. He began to turn around his game last month when he finished third at the Western Open and then contended early at the PGA Championship with a first-round 67 at Baltusrol for a share of the lead.
Four golfers, including Corey Pavin (67), who got within two strokes of the lead midway through his round, were at 202. That group also included defending champion Woody Austin (65), Jerry Kelly (67) and Tjaart van der Walt (68).
Darren Stiles began the day at even par and made the biggest jump, shooting a seven-under 63, and was five strokes back.
Gil Morgan and Doug Tewell have set up quite a final-round showdown in the Tradition.
Tewell recorded his second consecutive bogey-free round with a six-under 66 in the third round of the $2.5-million event at Aloha, Ore., pulling into a tie atop the leaderboard with Morgan at 13-under 203.
Morgan, who had a two-under 70 for his second consecutive round without a bogey, began Saturday’s play with a two-stroke lead over Tom Jenkins in the fifth and final major of the season on the Champions Tour. Jenkins shot a 69, leaving him one shot off the pace.
Tewell, who began the day tied for fifth at seven under, completed the front nine with his third birdie and made three more on the back nine to move ahead of Morgan. But the 58-year-old, who won the Tradition eight years ago, birdied two of the final three holes to forge the first-place tie.
Defending champion Craig Stadler, in search of his first win this season, is tied for 14th at 212 after his second 72 in three days.
Despite closing with two bogeys, Paula Creamer moved closer to clinching LPGA rookie-of-the-year honors by shooting a six-under 66 to take a one-stroke lead after three rounds at the Wendy’s Championship for Children at Dublin, Ohio.
Creamer, who has won two tournaments this year, can lock up the rookie title with a win. That would give her an insurmountable lead over Meena Lee in the points standings that determine the award.
Creamer, 19, was at 16-under 200 after three rounds at Tartan Fields Golf Club, one shot in front of Cristie Kerr and Soo-Yun Kang. Kerr matched Creamer’s 66, and Kang shot a 69.
Dillon Dougherty won the last two holes with a chip-in birdie and an easy par after hitting the flagstick, beating J.C. Deacon, 1-up, to advance to the final of the U.S. Amateur at Merion Golf Club at Ardmore, Pa.
In the other semifinal, Italy’s Edoardo Molinari built a 5-up lead through 11 holes and went on to defeat Austin Eaton III, 2 and 1, to reach today’s 36-hole match-play final.