Price Takes Lead at NWide Players Cup

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Nationwide TourBRIDGEPORT, West Virginia -- Rick Price eagled the 17th hole en route to a 6-under 66 Saturday and the third-round lead of the $1 million Nationwide Tour Players Cup.
 
Price, the first-round leader, finished 54 holes at 15-under 201 and is one ahead at Pete Dye Golf Club.
 
Chris Anderson also shot a 6-under 66 on Saturday and is alone in second place at minus-14. David Branshaw fired a 7-under 65 and got to third at 13-under 203.
 
The Nationwide Tour's first $1 million purse comes in its 554th tournament, offering a $180,000 first-place check that is the largest in tour history -- topping the $148,248 check claimed by Ewan Porter at the Moonah Classic in February.
 
This week's winner will virtually be guaranteed a place inside the top 25 on the money list at the end of the season, earning him a PGA TOUR card for next year.
 
Price, who won the 2005 Xerox Classic, started the third round in second place, but flew out of the gate on Saturday. He birdied four of his first five holes, including three in a row from the third.
 
He missed a 20-foot par save at the eighth hole, but stayed atop the leaderboard.
 
Players caught Price in the lead and he needed a birdie at the par-four 12th to stay in a share of first. He dropped another shot at the 15th thanks to a poor drive, but got back into a share of the lead with a birdie at No. 16.
 
At the par-five 17th, Price drained a 12-foot eagle putt to move two ahead. Anderson made birdie on the hole to cut the gap to one, then Price found a fairway bunker off the 18th tee.
 
He could not get on to the putting surface from there, but chipped inside three feet. Price saved the par, then watched Anderson narrowly miss an 20- footer for birdie.
 
That par, coupled with Anderson's missed birdie, could loom large.
 
Heavy rain is expected for most of the day Sunday and that could be an advantage for Price. Under Nationwide Tour rules, play can not go into Monday unless it's an absolute necessity.
 
If more than half of the field completes the final round, then a Monday finish is allowed. The tour can not go back on to the course if there's a chance they can not finish on Sunday.
 
If rain becomes a serious problem on Sunday and more than half of the field can not get the round in, then the final round will be abandoned and Price, as the third-round leader, will be declared the winner.
 
Overnight-leader Matt Bettencourt only managed a one-under 71 and is alone in fourth at minus-11. D.J. Brigman (66) and David Hearn (67) are knotted in fifth at 10-under 206.
 
Matt Weibring (67), Peter Tomasulo (67), Darron Stiles (68) and Greg Chalmers (71) share seventh at minus-nine.
 

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