Scott Opens Up Three Shot Lead


Stanford St. Jude ChampionshipMEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Adam Scott wanted to kill time before the U.S. Open by playing.
Now he's put himself in position to head to Oakmont Country Club as a wire-to-wire winner.
Scott, the world's fourth-ranked golfer, grabbed a three-stroke lead Saturday through three rounds of the Stanford St. Jude Championship, shooting a 2-under 68 at the stingy TPC Southwind course.
The Australian, who shared the first-round lead with Fredrik Jacobson, had to wait until Saturday morning to see if he remained atop the leaderboard. A three-hour rain delay Friday led to a suspension that left 26 players to finish the second round Saturday.
Only Andrew Buckle, a fellow Aussie, had a chance to catch Scott at the end of the second round, and he double-bogeyed his final hole. That left Scott, the Houston Open winner the week before the Masters, leading by a stroke lead after 36 holes. His third-round 68 gave him a 9-under 201 total.
Two-time Memphis winner David Toms shot a 66 and was 6-under along with Brian Gay (70), who blew a two-stroke lead with consecutive bogeys on the back nine. Woody Austin (67) was 5 under, followed by Brian Davis (68) at 4 under. Jacobson (70), Dean Wilson (66), Will MacKenzie (67), Joe Durant (68) and Brandt Snedeker (69) were 3 under.
John Daly, who overshadowed Scott's steady performance Friday when he accused his wife of waking him up that morning by attacking him with a steak knife, came in tied for 58th. He shot a 75 and was 74th at 9 over.
Scott bogeyed two of his first nine holes, letting Gay take a two-stroke lead at 8 under with two birdies over four holes. But Gay drove into the middle of the lake on the par-4 12th, setting up consecutive bogeys.
The Aussie didn't waste the opportunity.
He birdied Nos. 13, 15 and 16, taking the lead back to himself after hitting an iron within 4 feet on the 13th and holing a 13-footer on 15 to move to 8 under. He birdied the par-5 16th after lipping the edge of the cup from 10 feet.
Toms, who hasn't finished worse than 10th at the TPC Southwind since 2001, put himself in position to challenge Scott with five birdies and a bogey. He lipped out a 3-footer for birdie on No. 16.
The par-4 ninth single-handedly knocked Buckle off the pace with a pair of double bogeys hours apart.
The first came with Buckle at 6 under Saturday morning finishing up his second round. Grouped with Gay and Scott in the third, Buckle drove in the right rough and hit his third onto the green only to watch it trickle back within a foot of the water and he couldn't get up and down.
He finished with a 75 and was at 1 over overall.
Jose Coeres withdrew after nine holes because of back problems. ... Ken Duke had the best front nine Saturday, shooting a 31. The native of Arkadelphia, Ark., bogeyed four of the first five holes on the back nine and finished with a 70 for a 2-over total. ... Nathan Green holed a putt from 54 feet for birdie on No. 13. It didn't help much. He shot a 73 and was tied for 72nd.
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