Sauers takes 3-shot lead into U.S. Senior Open finale


Gene Sauers put himself in position Saturday for the biggest win of his career, shooting a 3-under 68 to take a three-shot lead into the final round of the U.S. Senior Open. Here's how things look after 54 holes at Oak Tree National:

Leaderboard: Gene Sauers (-7), Bernhard Langer (-4), Scott Dunlap (-4), Colin Montgomerie (-3), Marco Dawson (-2), Vijay Singh (-2), Jeff Sluman (-2)

What it means: Sauers, 51, a native of Savannah, Ga., won three times on the PGA Tour but his only brush with winning a major was a tie for second in the 1992 PGA Championship. In the mid-2000s he was diagnosed with Stevens-Johnson syndrome, a life-threatening skin condition, and did not play professionally from 2006 to 2010. He played a limited Nationwide Tour schedule in 2011 and 2012 before making his Champions Tour debut in 2012.

Round of the day: Sauers' 3-under 68 was tied for the best round on a day when only three players broke par. And it began inauspiciously, as he bogeyed the first hole. But he added four birdies the rest of the way, punctuated by one at the 18th, to separate himself from the field. He has a three-shot lead over Bernhard Langer, who shot an even-par 71.

Best of the rest: Peter Senior matched Sauers' 68 and Marco Dawson, bouncing back nicely from a second-round 76 with a 69.

Biggest disappointment: Colin Montgomerie, bidding to win his second senior major after not winning any on the regular tour, shot a 3-over 74 and is four shots back of Sauers going into the final round. Monty turned in even-par 35, but made four bogeys against a single birdie on the back nine.