Pampling Keeping Opponents at Bay


ORLANDO, Fla. -- Australian Rod Pampling posted a 5-under 67 on Saturday to move four clear after the third round of the Bay Hill Invitational. He stands at 14-under-par 202 and owns a nice cushion over Darren Clarke, Greg Owen and overnight-leader Lucas Glover.
Clarke strung together six consecutive birdies en route to a 9-under 63 on Saturday. He finished his third round almost two hours before the men he shares second place with signed their scorecards. Owen carded a 5-under 67, while Glover only managed an even-par 72. The trio is knotted at 10-under-par 206.
Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods hasn't been able to get anything to drop through three rounds.
Jason Bohn is alone in fourth place at minus-9 after a third-round, 4-under-par 68.
Tiger Woods, a four-time winner of this event from 2000-2003, continued to struggle. He posted a 1-under 71 on Saturday, but is tied for 30th place at minus-4.
'I hit the ball better, again, I just didn't make any putts,' said Woods. 'I made absolutely nothing today. It's been like that all week. It's just one of those weeks.'
Woods collected three birdies on Saturday, including a tap-in at the par-5 fourth after a brilliant flop shot. His birdies at 10 and 12 were from longer distances, but bogeys at the third and 13th put him 10 shots behind the leader.
Pampling began the third round one shot behind Glover, but wasted little time in claiming a piece of the lead. He drained a 12-foot birdie putt at the first and he would own at least a share of first the rest of the round.
At the par-5 sixth, Pampling sank a 9-foot birdie putt to move to 11 under par, which gave him a one-shot lead over Clarke, who was already in the clubhouse.
The Australian played steady golf around the turn with five pars, but stayed atop the leaderboard. At the par-5 12th, Pampling could not reach the green in two, but wedged his third to 3 feet. He rolled in that birdie try, then made it two in a row with a 23-footer at 13.
Pampling struggled at the par-4 15th when his drive landed in the left rough and tree forced him to take an awkward stance. All he could do was chip out to the fairway, where he hit his third to 23 feet. Pampling did not convert the par putt, dropping to 12 under par.
He still owned a two-shot lead and atoned for the mistake quickly. At 16, Pampling missed the green with his second shot at the par-5 hole, but chipped to 7 feet and drained the birdie putt.
At the challenging closing hole, Pampling's drive landed in the first cut of rough on the left side. His approach headed straight at the flag and barely cleared the rocks and water. Pampling's ball rolled to 3 feet and he sank the short putt for his four-shot margin as he goes hunting for his second PGA TOUR. He won The International in 2004.
Clarke started with a pair of birdies at the first and second holes, then parred the next six. He birdied six holes in a row from the ninth, including a 15-footer at 13 and a tap-in at the par-3 14th as his tee ball nearly rolled in the hole.
Clarke, who has played sparingly this season as his wife Heather is battling cancer, came up short with a 20-foot eagle try at 16. He tapped in for birdie, then parred out to move from a tie for 39th at the start of the third round to second.
'For me at the moment, it's a bit of a 'Catch-22,'' admitted Clarke. 'Golf is irrelevant to me, yet at the same time, when I stand on the first tee, I want to be competitive. It's nice to play the way I did today.'
Owen, an Englishman, collected six birdies and two bogeys over his first 13 holes. He grabbed his share of second place when he two-putted for birdie from 32 feet at the 16th.
Glover parred his first five, then found a pair of bunkers en route to a bogey at six. It was nine more pars after the bogey at the par-5, but a birdie at 16 kept Glover in the hunt for his second PGA TOUR victory.
Ben Curtis, the 2003 British Open champion, shot a 4-under 68 on Saturday. He is tied for sixth place with Sergio Garcia (71), Robert Allenby (73) and WGC - Accenture Match Play Champion Geoff Ogilvy (70). The group finished 54 holes at 8-under-par 208.
First-round co-leader Dean Wilson posted a 1-over 73 and shares 10th with Tom Pernice, Jr. (68), Angel Cabrera (69) and former U.S. Open winner Corey Pavin (71) at minus-7.
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