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Good Friends Battle For International Crown

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For the first time since joining the PGA Tour in 1986, Tom Pernice, Jr. will take a lead into the final round of an event.
 
Pernice (68) picked up nine points Saturday to maintain his overnight lead at The International. Using the modified Stableford scoring system, Pernice stands at +33.
 
Click here for the modified Stableford scoring system
 
Pernice will be paired in the final group with good friend Vijay Singh. Singh (67) amassed 12 points in the third round to finish 54 holes at the Castle Pines Golf Club in Castle Rock, CO at +30.
 
Chris Riley (69) is in third place after an eight-point day moved him to +29. Chris DiMarco (69) also added eight points to his total of +28.
 
Woody Austin (69, +8) and Charles Howell (69, +8) are tied for fifth place at +27. Defending champion Ernie Els (70, +10) and Sergio Garcia (70, +7) are just seven points off the lead at +26.
 
Pernice, the 1999 Buick Open winner, plays regularly with Singh in practice rounds. However, Sundays match will be worth more than a few side bets, as $720,000 will go to the eventual champion.
 
Pernice started the day with a two-point lead over Stewart Cink. Cink struggled on Saturday, shooting 5-over-par 77 and losing four points. He now stands at +18, 15 points off the lead.
 
The 41-year-old Pernice collected three points on his front nine by notching two birdies (two points each) and one bogey (minus 1 point).
 
He and Singh battled for possession of the lead over the back nine. Pernice birdied the par-4 13th to move to +29. Singh then birdied the 14th and 15th holes to tie his counterpart at the top.
 
Singh, the 1998 International winner, bogeyed the par-3 16th, while Pernice made a birdie-2. It proved to be a three-point swing, which was the end difference between the two as both men birdied the par-5 17th.
 
A second cut was made to reduce the field to the low 36 players and ties. Overall, 37 players finished 54 holes at +16.
 
Phil Mickelson started the day with 16 points but shot 82 and lost 11 points to miss the cut. Mickelson won this event in 1993 and 1997. He finished runner-up to Els last year.
 
Full-field scores from The International