Micheel Holds Slight Lead in BCOpen


Shaun Micheel was one of the first golfers out Saturday morning and the last to leave Saturday evening. When things are going as good as they were for Micheel its easy to see why he didnt mind putting in the extra hours.
Due to Fridays lengthy weather delay, then play being called because of darkness, Micheel returned to the En-Joie Golf Course in Endicott, N.Y. Saturday to finish up his second round.
With a birdie on his first hole, the 16th, and an ace on the par-3 17th, Micheel extended his overnight lead on Paul Gow to three as he completed the round.
Gow, who was able to get in his entire 18 on Friday, started Saturday alone in second at 11-under par.
Micheel, the 33-year-old from Memphis, Tenn., began the third round with only his third bogey of the week, but quickly righted his ship with a birdie on the second and an eagle-3 on the par-5 fifth. With two more birdies on the outward nine, he extended his lead over Gow to four.
Gow, who was in the final pairing last year with Jeff Sluman, finds himself in familiar territory this year due to a solid round of 67 that lands him in the final group. With a nifty 15-foot birdie putt on the 18th, Gow closed the gap to just three heading into Sunday.
Fred Funk, Glen Day, Tripp Isenhour, and Matt Peterson are in a group tied at 13-under, six off the pace.
Eight more players, including David Peoples and Brandt Jobe, are a shot back at 12-under.
With three par-5s on the front nine, Micheel will be looking to distance himself from Gow on the front nine, having played the par-5s in a total of 9-under par for the week. Gow has played the par-5s in 6-under.
Gow on the other hand has experience on his side, and hopes to accomplish something he couldnt do last year at this event, and thats to come out of this final pairing the winner. Currently ranked 162nd on the PGA Tour money list, and having missed 14 of 21 cuts this year, a first or second place check would serve him well into securing his card for 2003.
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