Lehman Looks to Ends Drought

By Sports NetworkOctober 9, 2004, 4:00 pm
Michelin Championship at Las VegasLAS VEGAS -- Tom Lehman fired a 6-under 66 Saturday on Bear's Best to move one shot clear of the field through three rounds of the Michelin Championship at Las Vegas. Lehman completed 54 holes at 17-under-par 198.
Andre Stolz posted a 7-under 65 on the TPC at Summerlin to move into a share of second place at 16-under-par 199. Dicky Pride, who also played Summerlin, joined Stolz in second place with a 66.
Lehman began his day on the 10th tee at Bear's Best and dropped his second shot within 4 feet to setup birdie on his first hole. He got up-and-down for birdie from a greenside bunker at the par-5 12th to move to minus-13.
The 45-year-old stumbled to a three-putt bogey at the 14th. Lehman came right back with an 8-foot birdie putt at 15. He made it two in a row as his second to the 16th came to rest 3 feet from the hole.
Lehman, whose last win came at the 2000 Phoenix Open, two-putted for birdie on No. 17 to make it three straight, which got him to 15 under.
Around the turn, Lehman rolled in a 25-foot birdie putt at the first. At the next, he stuck his third shot to the par-5 within a foot of the hole to make it two in a row.
The 1996 British Open champion tripped to a bogey at the fourth. He atoned for that mistake and grabbed the overnight lead with a two-putt birdie at the par-5 eighth.
'I hit the ball extremely well,' said Lehman, who owns five PGA Tour titles. 'I drove it well so I reached the par-5s easily. Winning would help me renew the belief in myself. If you don't take advantage of your good shots, you're beating your head against the wall.'
Stolz, like Pride, started on the 10th tee at Summerlin. He dropped in a 6-footer for birdie at the 11th and came back with a 20-foot birdie putt at the next. The 34-year-old Stolz made it three straight as he two-putted for birdie from 40 feet out at the 13th.
The Australian birdied the 15th, but stumbled to a bogey at 17 to slip back to minus-12. Stolz ran in a 30-foot eagle putt at the third. He closed with birdies on seven and nine to share second place.
'It was a pretty awesome start. I hit some good shots,' said Stolz. 'When I play well, I play really well and when I play bad, I really play bad.'
Pride was steady out of the gate with five straight pars. He drove the green at the 15th and two-putted for birdie. He again two-putt for birdie at the next to move to 12 under.
The 1994 FedEx St. Jude Classic winner dropped a 9-iron 4 feet from the cup at the 18th, his ninth, for his third birdie. At the fourth, Pride ran home a 30-footer for birdie, but faltered to a three-putt bogey at the next.
Pride sank a 15-foot birdie try at the sixth. He closed with birdies at eight and nine to get within one shot of Lehman.
'I was really pleased finishing with two birdies,' Pride said. 'I actually had a lot of birdie putts that just didn't go in.'
Second-round leader J.L. Lewis managed a 1-under 70 at TPC at The Canyons, the third of the three courses being used for the opening three rounds. He stands alongside Bob Estes (68), Olin Browne (69), Tim Petrovic (68), Duffy Waldorf (69), Greg Chalmers (64) and Harrison Frazar (68) in fourth place at 15-under-par 200.
Phil Mickelson withdrew before Saturday's third round, citing illness. Mickelson shot 68-66 his first two rounds.
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    After Further Review: Tiger's return comes at perfect time

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