Sunday, March 16, 2003

Love in control at Honda


Leonard trails leader by stroke

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. - Davis Love III is considered the top player in the Honda Classic field. He showed why Saturday.

The only player in the tournament among the top 10 in the world was 7 under through the final 11 holes of the third round, and wound up with a second straight 65.

Love is 20 under at 196, and has a one-shot lead over Justin Leonard.

Leonard birdied the final six holes to shoot an 8-under 64 and will join Love and short-game specialist Chris Riley in the final group.

It could be shootout, because 13 players are within four strokes.

"Love and Leonard, they're Hall of Famers in my book, so I think they will be the guys to beat," said Riley, who is two strokes back. "They have been there a lot. I haven't been there as much as them. That's why people come out to watch - to see if someone like me can beat those guys."

Love, the No. 7 player in the world, has been the most consistent player through three rounds at the Honda - shooting 66-65-65 - and has been one of the steadiest on tour this season.

He hasn't missed a cut, winning at Pebble Beach last month, finishing in a tie for 17th in the Match Play Championship and posting two 12th-place finishes.

He's fourth on the money list ($1.17 million in five events). His worst finish was a tie for 49th in the Nissan Open.

"I think Davis is one of the top five players in the world," Billy Mayfair said. "When he gets on a roll and starts putting good, he's hard to beat.''

Love has 15 career wins on tour, but only two in the last five years.

Northern Kentuckian Steve Flesch (5-under 139) and Oak Hills High graduate Brett Wetterich (3-over 147) missed the cut (139).

LPGA TOUR: Lorie Kane, blown away with the rest of the field by Meg Mallon's 60 Friday, shot a 5-under 65 regain the lead in the year's first tour event in Tucson.

Kane also led the Welch's-Fry's first round after shooting a career-low 61, but trailed Mallon by three shots going into the third. A crucial swing occurred when Mallon, who was 19 under after playing 41 consecutive holes without a bogey, had back-to-back bogeys on the 13th and 14th holes.

QATAR MASTERS: Ian Woosnam and Constantino Rocca missed the cut after officials limited the field for the final two rounds to the top 50 players and ties at Doha.

James Kingston holds a two-stroke lead over David Howell.

The players will complete their third round today before playing the final round.

CHAMPIONS TOUR: The second round of the SBC Classic in Santa Clarita, Calif., was canceled because of rain and the tournament shortened to 36 holes.




REDS / BASEBALL
Injuries slow down RHP Wilson
Bottom of the 9th, but the big job's done
Reds 6, Twins 1
Hamilton grateful, now a Cardinal
Dempster keeps coming up aces
Reds Q&A
Reality bites players bound for minors
Cardinals expecting to be grand in Central
Robinson: Minorities have a long way to go
Trammell asks Sparky for guidance
A's say they won't re-sign Tejada

BENGALS / NFL
Daugherty: Bengals' perception
Bengals Q&A
Douglas will make impact on Jaguars

COLLEGE BASKETBALL
UC confident bid will come
Good seeding likely for XU
XU rifle team 2nd
Kentucky thumps Auburn
Daniels' scary fall gives fans pause
SEC: Mississippi State 76, LSU 61
This is how to win your office pool
College basketball today
Teams can get Dance Card punched here
Atlantic 10: Dayton stops Temple
Big East: Pitt wins title
Big 10: Illinois withstands Coverdale's heroics
C-USA: Cardinals win first title
MAC: Central Michigan blows past Kent
Top 25: Missouri exacts revenge on No. 4 Kansas
Tournaments at a glance

PREP SPORTS
Spartans' repeat hopes fizzle
Moeller turns Hamilton blue
Regina easily wins fourth straight title
Prep Insider: State titles on the line

GOLF
Love in control at Honda
Greater depth on PGA Tour astounds veterans

HOCKEY
AHL Ducks set playoff roster

HORSE RACING
Empire Maker takes Florida Derby by record margin

NBA
Hawks' bench packs powerful 1-2 punch
Kemp overcame demons to salvage career
Stackhouse may test the market
Wizards turn up defensive heat to douse Miami

COLLEGE SPORTS
Baseball: Xavier overcomes its early struggles

PAGE TWO
Back by popular demand
Enquirer Page Two Power rankings

PLAN YOUR DAY
This weekend's sports on TV, radio