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Pernice takes lead at Congressional

From the Associated Press

On a wild day for everyone around him, Tom Pernice Jr. kept it steady and simple Saturday for a one-under-par 69 in the AT&T; National at Bethesda, Md., that gave him a one-shot lead and a chance to win for the first time in seven years.

Pernice took the lead, but not control, with an approach that stopped just inside three feet at the 17th for only his second birdie on a steamy, still afternoon at Congressional Country Club. He was at 10-under 200 and was one shot ahead of Steve Stricker, who had a 66.

Stricker was among four players who had at least a share of the lead throughout the third round, but he hit a seven-iron over the 17th green and caught the lip with a 12-foot par putt from the fringe.

Jeff Overton, tied with Pernice to start the third round, was fortunate to still have a chance. His struggles began with a tee shot into the bunker on the par-three 10th hole to take bogey, then had consecutive double bogeys that left him four shots behind.

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Overton rallied with birdies on his next two holes and salvaged a 71, leaving him at eight-under 202 with Tommy Armour III (66) and Nick O’Hern (67).

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Angela Park’s final putt was as impressive as her round -- an uphill birdie attempt from about 25 feet that capped a 10-under 62.

Kristy McPherson wasn’t about to be outdone.

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McPherson answered Park with a birdie of her own, a downhill putt from the fringe, about 20 feet from the hole. The playing partners were within a stroke of the lead in the second round of the NW Arkansas Championship at Rogers.

“Obviously, everything went right today,” said Park, who equaled the lowest round on the LPGA Tour this year.

Park and McPherson were at 11 under at Pinnacle Country Club. Meena Lee shot a 65 in the second round to finish the day at 12 under. She was tied for the lead with Eun-Hee Ji, who had two holes remaining in her second round.

About half the field was still on the course when play was suspended because of darkness. The tournament has been delayed twice by bad weather.

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McPherson finished her first round at eight under, playing the final five holes Saturday morning. Friday’s start was pushed back about five hours because of rain, and bad weather halted play for over 90 minutes Saturday.

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Eduardo Romero shot his second straight seven-under 65 to take a one-shot lead over Fulton Allem (65) and Joey Sindelar (65) heading into the final round of the Dick’s Sporting Goods Open at Endicott, N.Y.

Romero, who began the day two shots behind first-round leader Joe Ozaki, had 16 birdies and one double bogey over the two rounds and was at 14-under 130. Ozaki (70) was alone in fourth at 11 under in the Champions Tour event.

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