Hoch Charges into Champions Lead


Champions TourAUSTIN, Texas -- Scott Hoch fired a 6-under 66 Saturday to take the lead heading into the final round of the Champions Tour's FedEx Kinko's Classic.
Hoch made two birdie putts of 15 feet or longer in a bogey-free third round and got to 11-under 133 for a three-shot lead on D.A. Weibring.
'The main thing is I didn't put myself in too many bad positions out there,' said Hoch, 51. 'I wasted very few shots today and made some birdies.'
Weibring had a 4-under 68 and was alone in second place at 8-under 136. He missed a handful of short putts in the third round, but also came away without a bogey.
'It was a challenging day. To play a round without a bogey today was good,' Weibring said.
All-time Champions Tour wins leader Hale Irwin (68) and first-round leader Leonard Thompson (73) were tied for third place at 7-under 137. Tom Purtzer (67) and Loren Roberts (72) were another shot further back at 138.
Hoch, an 11-time PGA TOUR winner, made back-to-back birdies from No. 2 to get his round started. The second came on a putt from 20 feet.
He stuck his sand wedge inside 5 feet at Nos. 6 and 8, setting up birdies, and made the turn at 9 under par. Another sand wedge, this time to 6 feet at the 14th, set up the first of two more back-to-back birdies that gave him his three-shot lead.
'The key today was keeping it in the fairway,' Hoch said, commenting on the strong winds at The Hills Country Club. 'It gives you a lot more birdie chances.'
Weibring missed birdie putts of four and eight feet early in the round, then picked up his first birdie at No. 8 -- the first of three consecutive birdies capped by an eight-iron to one foot at the 10th. His fourth and final birdie came on a 3-foot putt at the 13th.
'The golf course was challenging, but I hit the ball well today,' he said.
Massy Kuramoto (73) was alone in seventh place at 5-under 139. Fred Funk (68), Joe Ozaki (73) and Tim Simpson (73) were a shot further back at 140.
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