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Ahern capitalizes as Watson laments

By Wire services
Published August 31, 2003

ALOHA, Ore. - Tom Watson faltered, and Jim Ahern took advantage.

Ahern birdied three of the final four holes for 4-under 68 Saturday and a one-stroke lead after the third round of Jeld-Wen Tradition, the final major this season on the Champions Tour.

Ahern was at 14-under 202 after 54 holes heading into today's final round at the Reserve Vineyards and Golf Club west of Portland.

"I played really a solid round of golf today," Ahern said. "Tee to green I was really right on."

Watson squandered his four-stroke second-round lead with four bogeys to finish a stroke back after 1-over 73. Tom Kite and Morris Hatalsky each shot 5-under 67 to join Watson at 13 under.

Hale Irwin, the winningest senior with 37 tour victories, shot 2-under 70 despite back spasms and was at 12 under.

Bogey-free for the first two days of the tournament, Watson dropped his first shot on the par-3 second and bogeyed the par-4 third. He made birdies on the fifth and sixth to climb back to 14 under, but bogeys on Nos. 12 and 13 allowed Irwin and Kite to pull even. From there it was a tug-of-war among the leaders.

"I guess it was the law of averages. Yesterday was a superb day. Today was a very ugly day, as far as my standards," Watson said.

DEUTSCHE BANK CHAMPIONSHIP: Adam Scott played his final 10 holes 8 under at the TPC of Boston, topping it off with a 15-foot birdie putt for 9-under 62 and a two-stroke lead over Vijay Singh after the second round of the PGA Tour event in Norton, Mass.

The 23-year-old Aussie started his run with a 4-foot eagle putt on No. 18, his ninth of the day, and quickly surged up the leaderboard to take his first 36-hole lead in a PGA Tour event at 11-under 131.

"It was a normal day until the 18th finally got me going," Scott said. "I felt like it was time to get right in the tournament."

Singh birdied four straight holes early in his round to reach 10 under, bogeyed the par-3 11th and closed with seven pars for 68.

Tiger Woods was thankful to just make it to the final two days of the $5-million event that benefits his foundation. He made three successive bogeys and was 3 over, three over the cut line, but responded with six birdies in nine holes to extend his streak to 111 consecutive cuts made on tour.

"It wasn't looking very good," said Woods, whose 69 left him eight back. "I just hit bad shot after bad shot. I figured if I got back to even par I'd be pretty good. And I did a couple better than that."

Geoff Ogilvy of Australia shot 66 and was at 8-under 134 with first-round leader Justin Rose (71).

STATE FARM CLASSIC: Candie Kung played just well enough to keep her lead as Laura Davies and others closed the gap heading into the final round of the LPGA Tour event Springfield, Ill. After leading by four through two rounds, Kung built her lead to five before stumbling. She finished with 1-under 71 for a one-shot lead over Davies (66), a 20-time winner. Kung started strong and moved to 15 under through her fourth hole before shooting 1 over the rest of the day. Hee-Won Han shot 69 and was in third at 12 under.

BMW OPEN: Second-round leader Robert Karlsson shot 1-under 71 in the rain and wind for a two-stroke lead after three rounds of the European PGA Tour event in Nord-Eichenried, Germany. Karlsson was at 16-under 200 with 16 players within five strokes. Ernie Els, the tour's leading money winner, made triple bogey on No.15 and faded with 74 for 213.

[Last modified August 31, 2003, 01:47:13]


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