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Scott takes three-shot lead into final round

By TIMES WIRES
Published November 5, 2006


ATLANTA - Adam Scott's worst swing turned into his best shot Saturday, a tap-in eagle that carried him to 3-under 67 and a surprisingly comfortable margin in the Tour Championship.

Tied for the lead with Joe Durant, Scott was in the first cut of rough on the left side of the par-5 15th fairway when he caught his 3-iron thin and slumped his shoulders as it ran up the steep slope. But it kept rolling, and rolling, until it climbed onto the green and stopped 2 feet away for an unlikely eagle.

"I thought it would be short," Scott said. "But it was going where I was aiming. I hit a lot of other great shots that didn't turn out as well. It's unexplainable."

The eagle gave the Australian star the lead, and it got even bigger when Durant bogeyed the next two holes.

Scott was 7-under 203 and takes a three-shot lead into the final round of the final event of the year. He will play in the last group with Vijay Singh, who shot 65 and was at 206. Durant shot 70 and also was three shots behind.

"It's a great position to be in," Scott said. "You can see all the great players making a move, creeping up the leaderboard. I've got to keep moving. I really need to knuckle down tomorrow."

For all the talk about Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson sitting this one out, there was plenty of star power at East Lake. Five of the top 10 players in the world rankings are among the top eight on the leaderboard.

Jim Furyk birdied three straight holes in his round of 67, while Retief Goosen made a couple of clutch pars to salvage 68, and both were 3-under 207. Also still in the hunt were Ernie Els (66) and Luke Donald (69) at 209.

"Who's not here?" Singh said with a laugh. "I'm here, right? Ernie is here. Furyk is here. The golf tournament is still here."

LPGA: Annika Sorenstam moved into contention for a tour-record sixth straight Mizuno Classic title, shooting 6-under 66 in Mie, Japan, to finish the second round two strokes behind leader Momoko Ueda.

Sorenstam had six birdies in her bogey-free round to finish 7-under 137.

"I'm ready to win. I would love to win," Sorenstam said. "I've had some great success here. I feel fortunate about that, and I don't want to take anything for granted.

"I'm excited to be in contention tomorrow. Today's round kick-started it."

Ueda, 20, one of 35 Japan LPGA players in the 76-player field, was 9 under after shooting 64 - the course record and the best round of her career by a stroke.

Karrie Webb was a stroke back after 67, while first-round leader Rachel Hetherington (72) was 7 under along with Sorenstam, Japanese star Ai Miyazato (68), Brittany Lang (69), Aree Song (68), Yun Hee Ku (65) and Jeong Eun Lee (65).

Ueda was asked if she would consider accepting tour membership if she wins today.

"Absolutely not!" Ueda said. "I have too much to work on in Japan."