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Love takes Honda Classic lead

©Associated Press

March 16, 2003

PALM BEACH GARDENS -- After going more than two years without a win, Davis Love is in position for his second in less than two months.

Love would like to start a big run, but is confident regardless of what happens when he tees off with a one-stroke lead in today's final round of the Honda Classic.

"I'm hitting it good and I'm feeling good," said Love, who won at Pebble Beach last month. " ... It's nice to be excited and playing aggressively and feeling good."

Love, the only player in the field among the top 10 in the world (at No. 7), was 7 under through the final 11 holes on his way to shooting 65. He was 20 under at 196 on the Sunset Course at The Country Club at Mirasol.

Justin Leonard birdied the final six holes to shoot 8-under 64. He, Love and Chris Riley will be in the final group.

As for the co-leaders after play was suspended Friday, Notah Begay was at 199 and David Peoples was at 201.

Also, two federal agents and a police officer provided Thomas Levet increased security, protecting him against possible threats. Levet is from France, which has led opposition to U.S. military action against Iraq. Levet didn't ask for protection, but tour officials afforded him added security because a few fans shouted insults at him during last week's Ford Championship in Miami.

WELCH'S-FRY'S CHAMPIONSHIP: When the wind kicked up and the greens slowed after two days of near-record scoring, Lorie Kane was back in her element.

Kane, who fell behind Meg Mallon after she shot 60 on Friday, shot 5-under 65 in Tucson, Ariz., to regain the lead in the LPGA event. Kane birdied two of the last six holes, a stretch in which Mallon had three bogeys.

Kane led after the first round with a career-low 61, but trailed Mallon by three going into the third. A crucial swing occurred when Mallon, who had reached 19 under by playing 41 consecutive holes without a bogey, had back-to-back bogeys on the 13th and 14th holes. Kane had a 54-hole total of 192.

Christina Kim shot 62 on her 19th birthday, tying Bloomingdale graduate Beth Bauer for the best score of the day, and was second at 193. Mallon (70) and Wendy Doolan (67) were two shots off the pace.

Erratic gusts helped toughen the 6,176-yard Dell Urich layout.

Bauer was at 199, tied for 11th.

SBC CLASSIC: Rain forced officials to call off play in the Champions Tour event in Santa Clarita, Calif., reducing the event from 54 to 36 holes. Gil Morgan led at 7-under 65 after one round.

QATAR MASTERS: James Kingston shot 5-under 67 to take the lead at 9 under in Doha. Darkness suspended play; the third round will be completed today before the final round.

LAKELAND FUTURES CLASSIC: Bradenton's Aree Song, formerly Wongluekiet, led with one hole left in her round when darkness suspended play in the opener on the Futures Tour. Song was 7 under at The Club at Eaglebrooke in Lakeland. Soo Young Moon (68) was one back and had the best score of those who completed two rounds at 138.

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