Furyk Takes One-Shot Lead


GRAND BLANC, Mich. -- Jim Furyk shot a 7-under 65 on Saturday to take the outright lead after three rounds of the Buick Open. Furyk's 54-hole total of 17-under-par 199 gives him a one-shot edge over Carl Paulson.
Defending champion Tiger Woods had to complete his second round early Saturday at Warwick Hills after play was suspended Friday and did so in style with an eagle at the par-5 16th to reach 10-under.
The top player in the game had a tough run during his third round, however, and despite a pair of birdies and a bogey over his first nine holes, he was falling off the pace of the leaders.
Woods made the turn at minus-11 and found trouble at the 10th after an errant drive nestled underneath a tree to the left of the fairway. Woods got down on his knees to play his second shot and muscled it forward. He sent his third shot to 12 feet and missed the putt for a bogey.
The 27-year-old hit his drive just short of the green at the par-4 12th and chipped to seven feet. He failed to convert for birdie but picked up ground down the stretch with three consecutive birdies starting at the par-4 15th.
Woods finished with a round of 69 to join Briny Baird and Woody Austin in a tie for eighth at 13-under-par 203.
Furyk had a much easier day than his playing partner Woods.
'I wanted to go out and get a low number, and whether I'm playing with Tiger or someone else, it doesn't make that much of a difference other than it felt like 20,000 people were watching us,' said Furyk. 'You want to play well and try to get yourself to where you have an opportunity.'
He opened with a birdie at the first and reached 12-under after his tee shot to the par-three third stopped five feet from the cup.
The U.S. Open champion added a birdie at the seventh and hit his approach inside seven feet for a birdie at the par-4 10th.
At the par-5 13th, Furyk dropped his third within a foot of the hole for a tap-in birdie. He made it two in a row with a birdie at the 14th and picked up a birdie at the par-4 18th to hold a slim lead over a charging field.
'Starting today I was trying to shoot a low number and put myself in position, and I ended up in the lead,' said Furyk.
Paulson tallied back-to-back birdies from the sixth and added another pair of birdies starting at the 10th to move to 13-under.
He faltered with a bogey at the 13th but recovered that shot with a birdie at the following hole. At the par-5 16th, Paulson drained an 18-foot putt from off the green for an eagle.
Paulson added a birdie at the closing hole for a round of 65.
'I'm just working really hard,' said Paulson. 'My playing was a little out of whack, which was a little unusual for me. Out here on tour, if you short-side yourself, you're going to make bogeys. I'm trying to cut down on some of the mistakes and wait until I start hitting better.'
Neal Lancaster carded a third-round 66 to finish two shots off the lead at 15- under-par 201.
Kenny Perry was one shot further back in a group at 14-under-par 202. Perry, who has three victories to his name in 2003, picked up birdies on each of his first two holes and reached the green in two at the par-5 seventh.
Perry missed the eagle try and tapped in for a birdie. Three holes later at the par-4 10th, however, Perry holed out from the fairway for an eagle to climb to 13-under and tie Furyk in the lead.
The 42-year-old bogeyed the 11th but picked up back-to-back birdies starting at the 13th. Perry, who won this event in 2001, then two-putted for birdie at the par-5 16th but struggled with a bogey at the last for a round of 66.
Perry was joined by 36-hole leader Chris DiMarco, Paul Goydos and Paul Gow in a tie for fourth.
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