Watney Alone On Top

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Canadian Tour-LargeWINTERGREEN, Va. -- Nick Watney, a sponsor's exemption, fired a 4-under 68 on Saturday to take the lead after 54 holes of the Lewis Chitengwa Memorial Championship. He stands at 15-under-par 201 and owns a three-shot lead over Derek Gillespie.
 
Jim Lemon (70), Alex Quiroz (68) and overnight co-leader Chris Wall (72) share third place at 11-under-par 205.
 
There were two weather delays Saturday afternoon that totaled close to three hours. Every player completed their round, but in anticipation of inclement weather Sunday, tee times were moved up to the morning.
 
Watney mixed two birdies and a bogey on his front side Saturday to take a one- stroke lead around the turn. He birdied the 13th hole and then the rains poured.
 
When the second delay was over, Watney birdied his last two holes to take the 54-hole lead.
 
'I was a little shaky this morning, but I settled down once we got going,' said Watney, who will play in Reno on the PGA Tour next weekend. 'When I saw the low scores during the delays, I knew par wasn't going to cut it. I just went out, kept my focus and tried to hit good golf shots.'
 
Should Watney hang on and visit the winner's circle Sunday, he would be the second consecutive non-member to win on the Canadian Tour. Amateur James Lepp won the Vancouver Classic two weeks ago and should Watney win, he would be exempt through the 2005 season.
 
'It would be an ideal place to play,' said Watney. 'That's what it is all about, gaining that experience. I know a lot of these guys, I would love playing with them, and it's a great atmosphere. This is the kind of place that is going to get you ready for that next level of golf.'
 
Matt Bettencourt (67) and Ted Brown (69) share sixth place at 9-under-par 207, followed by Robert Hamilton (65), Scott Hend (67) and Craig Matthew (67), who are tied for eighth at minus-8.
 

Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - Lewis Chitengwa Memorial Championship
  • Lewis Chitengwa Memorial Championship Leaderboard