The Greater Hartford Open lost the biggest name in its field and gained a new leader.
After defending champion Greg Norman was disqualified over a technical ball violation, D.A. Weibring shot an even-par 70 Saturday to take sole possession of the lead heading into the final round at Cromwell, Conn.
Weibring, who took the past three weeks off to regain some strength sapped by the Bell’s Palsy he was diagnosed with earlier this year, finished 54 holes at 7-under 203, one stroke better than second-round leader Kevin Sutherland, who had a 72.
Norman was disqualified late Friday for using an improperly labeled ball in the first two rounds. He was five strokes out of the lead at the halfway mark and his early exit was the buzz all day.
“You live by the rules of the game,” said Norman, who was in good spirits Saturday morning despite the fact the mixup cost him a serious chance to become the tournament’s first repeat champion.
Pullman’s Kirk Triplett was at 211 after a 70.
Amy Benz threatened to run away with her first title in nearly 13 years on tour by shooting a 5-under-par 66 to take a three-stroke lead with 130 after two rounds of the ShopRite LPGA Classic in Somers Point, N.J. Tracy Hanson of Rathdrum, Idaho was tied for third, six shots back.
At Mason, Ohio, Isao Aoki shot a 2-under-par 69 to take a one-stroke lead over defending champion Mike Hill and Bob E. Smith after two rounds of the Kroger Senior Classic.
Fred Couples won his skins early and Ernie Els got his lone one midway through the opening nine holes in the four-man Canadian Skins competition in Vaudreuil-Dorion, Quebec.
That left four skins carrying over to the first tee today.
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