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Leonard Nearly Perfect In Lead

By Associated Press

Justin Leonard made his only mistake early in the third round Saturday, then settled down to shoot a 3-under-par 69 for a one-stroke lead over Bob Tway in the Buick Open at Grand Blanc, Mich.

Leonard, 24, seeking his first victory on the PGA Tour, made his only bogey on the sixth hole. He then held off every challenge with a deft short game and solid putting to reach 18-under 198.

Dave Stockton Jr., also seeking his first victory, and first-round leader Rick Fehr were three strokes off the pace at 201. Stockton shot a 66, Fehr had a 70. A closing round of 63 today would bring Leonard in at 27 under, matching the tour record shared by Ben Hogan and Mike Souchak. Robert Wrenn set the Buick Open record of 26 under in 1987.

At one point, shortly after the leaders had teed off, there were eight players tied at 12 under. But Leonard and Tway soon began distancing themselves from the pack.

Tway, starting the day at 10-under, five strokes off the pace, turned at 13 under and made successive birdies at Nos. 11-13 to go 16 under.

Mallon takes lead in rain

Meg Mallon shot a 3-under-par 69 to take a one-stroke lead over Karrie Webb and Pat Hurst after the wet third round of the du Maurier Classic, the final major championship for women at Edmonton, Alberta.

Mallon took advantage of the soft greens following a 5-hour rain delay, surprising the gallery with a birdie on the difficult par-4 seventh en route to a 10-under 206 total on the Edmonton Country Club course.

Webb began the round with a four-stroke lead over Mallon at 11 under, but dropped five strokes on the front nine. She rallied on the back nine with three birdies for a round of 74.

Rathdrum’s Tracy Hanson shot a 79 and is 19 strokes back.

Conner takes VFW lead

Frank Conner, looking for his first Senior victory, shot a second straight 5-under-par 65 to take for a two-day total 130 and a two-stroke lead over Dave Eichelberger in the VFW Senior Championship at Belton, Mo.

Conner, 50, whose best finish was a tie for fifth in the American Express Invitational, matched Eichelberger shot-for-shot on the narrow Loch Lloyd layout before benefiting from a two-shot swing on No. 17 when playing partners Eichelberger and Jim Colbert both took double bogeys.

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