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Furyk Remains Bogey-Free Leads in Vegas

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LAS VEGAS -- Jim Furyk remained atop the leaderboard as he carded a third round 64 Friday to grab a one stroke lead at the Invensys Classic. Furyk stands at 20-under-par 195 and is one stroke clear of Jeff Sluman, who also shot a 64, as scores plummeted.
 
Lee Janzen and Joel Edwards each tied the course record of 62 at the TPC Canyons course on Friday. Of the top 28 players on the leaderboard, all of them shot between 62 and 68.
 
Overnight co-leader Charles Howell III and Stuart Appleby are three strokes off the pace at 17-under, while Chris DiMarco, Steve Jones and Janzen are tied for fifth at minus-16.
 
Furyk, who is a three-time winner at this event, has yet to record a bogey through three rounds. His stellar round came at the TPC Summerlin, which is where the final two rounds will be played. The first three rounds, players rotated between Summerlin and TPC Southern Highlands, each par-72 courses, and the par-71 TPC Canyons course.
 
Furyk started on the back nine at Summerlin and posted five birdies in the first seven holes. His longest putt during the stretch was on his first birdie putt at the 11th, where he ran one home from 15 feet.
 
'I had a little quick start on the back side,' Furyk said, who has bettered his score each day, 66-65-64. 'Four birdies is a good start. I got in little trouble.'
 
Furyk kept the hot streak going with birdies at both par-5s, Nos. 3 and 9, on the front side. This put him at 4-under on the four par-5s for his round. He also drained a 25-foot putt for birdie on the par-3 fifth.
 
'I played real solid,' said Furyk, who won here in 1995, 1998 and 1999. 'I missed a few greens, but hit a lot of chips close. To win here, you have to shoot low numbers and limit mistakes.'
 
Sluman's day started off with a bogey five at the first hole at TPC Southern Highlands. After he hit a flyer over the green, he was unable to get up-and-down. He quickly got that stroke back as he birdied consecutive holes starting at the third.
 
'I was in a divot in the deepest rough I had ever been in my career,' said Sluman, referring to where his drive landed before he recovered for birdie at the third.
 
Sluman then went on a birdie streak. He birdied the sixth from 12 feet, then sank a three-footer at the next. He followed with a 12-foot birdie on the eight and made it four straight when he made a 10-footer at nine. He birdied three more holes after the turn to polish off his round of 64.
 
'You're really going to have to make a bucketful of birdies,' Sluman said. 'You have to be very aggressive and make putts. On top of that, you have to stay patient if things don't happen early in the round.'
 
Howell began on the back nine at the TPC Canyons course. He birdied the 10th, but gave that stroke right back on the 11th. There, his 8-iron missed the green and he could not get up-and-down. He rebounded with three birdies in a four-hole span starting at the 14th.
 
He posted consecutive birdies starting at the fourth after he made the turn. At the fourth, he two-putted at the par-5, then sank a three-footer on the fifth. Howell has now played his last eight rounds in 35-under-par dating back to the Valero Texas Open.
 
'My short game, first and foremost, is why my scoring is better lately,' said Howell, who earned his first PGA win at the Michelob Championship last week. 'I'll be relaxed this weekend (after winning). People may not understand that, but there is something about seeing your name on a leaderboard that helps you relax after a few times.'
 
Howell is looking to become the first player to capture tournaments in consecutive weeks since Tiger Woods accomplished the feat in March 2001, when he won the Bay Hill Invitational and The Players Championship. David Duval is the last player to win his first tour event one week and claim his second victory the following week. In 1997, Duval won the Michelob Championship then claimed the Walt Disney World/Oldsmobile Classic.
 
Paul Stankowski, John Cook, John Huston, Scott McCarron, Jay Don Blake, Phil Tataurangi, Brent Geiberger, John Rollins, Dudley Hart and Duval are five strokes off the pace at 15-under-par 200.
 
Defending champion Bob Estes missed the cut by one shot, despite a third round 62 at Southern Highlands.
 

Full-field scores from the Invensys Classic at Las Vegas