Parnevik leads Gronberg by 3 at Texas Open
SAN ANTONIO - It has been 6 1/2 years since Jesper Parnevik won on the PGA Tour. But he hasn't forgotten the feeling.
"The way I remember, it was a lot easier to win tournaments than it was out there today," Parnevik said.
Parnevik moved a step closer to his first victory since 2001, shooting a 4-under-par 66 on Saturday to take a three-stroke lead into the final round of the Texas Open.
The 42-year-old Swede had an 18-under 192 total on the LaCantera Golf Club Resort Course after opening with rounds of 61 and 65. He won the last of his five PGA Tour titles in the 2001 Honda Classic.
Fellow Swede Mathias Gronberg was 15 under after a 65. Texan Justin Leonard, the 2000 and '01 winner, was 14 under after a 64, and Ryan Armour (64), Daniel Chopra (64), Shigeki Maruyama (65) and Chris Stroud (64) followed at 12 under.
Gronberg, in his fourth full season on the PGA Tour, was a 15-year-old caddy for Parnevik at the 1985 Swedish Match Play Championship.
Leonard also has some history with Parnevik. He won his only major championship when he came from five shots behind third-round leader Parnevik to win the 1997 British Open Championship at Troon.
"(His) lead is not insurmountable," Leonard said. "Jesper obviously shot 9 under the first day and backed it pretty well the last two rounds. But if he continues to play the way he is, he's probably out too far."
Because of the long time since his last win, Parnevik said he had some doubts in his game even though he entered the round with a four-shot lead.
"It was tough out there, I thought, for me," he said. "I was not very relaxed over the shots or the putts. Now, when I haven't played that great for a while, it's a lot tougher because those bad shots seem to stick in your mind somewhere."
Parnevik had six birdies, with only two of the putts from more than 10 feet.
"Jesper hit a lot of shots close to the pin," said Gronberg, who played in the same group. "So the main thing for me is to go out and play like I did today."
Parnevik led by five early with a birdie at the first. But a bogey at the second, and a Gronberg birdie putt from the fringe, cut it to three.
Both bogeyed the 10th hole, but Parnevik regained the stroke with a 2-foot putt at the 428-yard 11th, set up by a 345-yard drive down hill.
In Timonium, Md., Loren Roberts overcame a slow start to shoot a 3-under 67 yesterday and take a three-stroke lead over Fred Funk after three rounds of the Senior Players Championship.
Roberts bogeyed two of the first three holes, but rebounded to lengthen the two-shot lead he owned at the midpoint of the Champion Tour's final major tournament of the year. After making 14 birdies and only four bogeys over the first 54 holes, Roberts is at 10-under 200.
Funk shot a 66, the best score of the day, and Tom Watson carded a 68 to forge into third place at 5 under.
Roberts dropped into an early tie with Watson after opening bogey-birdie-bogey. He got even for the day with a birdie on No. 5 before making four straight pars.
Then came the back nine. Roberts started with a birdie on 10 for the second time in three days, then birdied the par-3, 189-yard 11th hole. After a par on 12, Roberts birdied the 180-yard 13th hole, which yielded only two birdies Friday.
He finished with five straight pars.
"I started off hitting a couple of poor shots early but hung in there," Roberts said.
Funk hit every fairway and, like Roberts, made three birdies over a bogey-free back nine.
"I hit exceptionally well off the tee today. If I can do that tomorrow, that's what I need to do," Funk said. "But you've got to play really well more than likely, the way Loren's playing."
European PGA Tour
In St. Andrews, Scotland, England's Nick Dougherty shot a 6-under 66 to take a three-stroke lead in the Dunhill Links Championship.
Dougherty had a 17-under 199 total after three rounds at Kingsbarns, Carnoustie and the Old Course. The final round will be played at St. Andrews.
Australia's Peter O'Malley was second after a 69 at St. Andrews.
Defending champion Padraig Harrington, the British Open winner at Carnoustie, shot a 67 at Kingsbarns to top a four-player group at 13 under.