Sunday, May 4, 2003

Verplank maintains 3-shot lead


Nicklaus makes Nationwide cut; Seve seething

The Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS - Scott Verplank shot a 5-under-par 67 Saturday to remain three strokes ahead of the low-scoring field after the third round of the HP Classic of New Orleans.

Verplank's 195 total put him 21 under through 54 holes - nearly matching the course record for 72 holes - as English Turn remained defenseless with little wind.

Bob Estes shot his third 66 of the tournament and was in second at 18-under 198. He made a late push with birdies on 14, 15, 16.

Brian Gay had a double-bogey on 18 that cost him second place and dropped him into a tie for third with Kirk Triplett at 17 under.

The marquee names were all well off the pace, including money leader Davis Love III, who had two double-bogeys to enter the final round eight strokes back.

LPGA TOUR: Grace Park shot a 2-under 69 to take a one-stroke lead in the Michelob Light Open in Williamsburg, Va., with the tour's top two players and top two rookies all close behind.

Park had a 9-under total, one stroke ahead of Cristie Kerr, who shot 68. Tour rookies Suzann Pettersen (71) and Lorena Ochoa (72) joined Hee-Won Han (68) three strokes behind Park.

Annika Sorenstam and Se Ri Pak, the top two players, were four strokes back along with Patricia Meunier-Lebouc. Pak and Sorenstam, paired together, shot 70s, and Meunier-Lebouc had a 71.

CHAMPIONS TOUR: Hale Irwin shot a 5-under-par 67 to take a one-stroke lead over Bruce Fleisher and Tom Jenkins into the final round of the Bruno's Memorial Classic in Hoover, Ala.

Irwin, winless in seven starts this season after winning a record 36 titles in his first eight years on the over-50 tour, had a 12-under 132 on Greystone's Founder's Course.

"I'm not unhappy with my score, but when you birdie three of the first five and then make only two more birdies the rest of the day, you're a little disappointed," Irwin said. "It was another bogey-free round today, which meant I didn't give one back."

NATIONWIDE TOUR: Jack Nicklaus' charge up the Nationwide Tour's leaderboard was cut short by a faltering putter and a hail storm that halted third-round play in the BMW Charity Pro-Am at The Cliffs at Travelers Rest, S.C.

Nicklaus one-putted his final 10 greens early Saturday to finish off a second-round 67 and creep within five shots of leader Eric Meeks. But Nicklaus couldn't keep the magic going in the later round, with three bogeys in the five holes he completed before large hail stones - some indeed the size of golf balls - postponed play again.

Eric Meeks and Tripp Isenhour moved to the top of the leaderboard at 10-under par through the first hole of the third round.

Oak Hills High graduate Brett Wetterich (through two holes) was tied for third at 9-under par

ITALIAN OPEN: Seve Ballesteros claimed European Tour officials are waging a "war" against him after he was disqualified from the tournament in Brescia, Italy.

Ballesteros refused to accept a one-stroke penalty for a second slow-play violation in the third round of the Italian Open, and signed for a 3-over-par 75 instead of a 76. He then was disqualified.

"It's a personal problem from the past," the two-time Masters champ said. "It's a war, and this is a continuation of that. It happens because I'm against the system.

"Ten years ago I could have taken a minute and a half to play one shot, but I'm not important any more for the tour."

Ricardo Gonzalez of Argentina shot a 6-under-par 66 and held a one-stroke lead after three rounds.




FLYING PIG MARATHON
Locals win Flying Pig
Complete results

REDS SUNDAY GAME
Giants 6, Reds 1
Reds Box, Runs

REDS SATURDAY GAME
Giants 9, Reds 6
Reds notebook: Riedling prepared to start
Harnisch putting in his innings
First win of season gives Graves shot of confidence
Aussie takes American game for a kick and a jog
Reds chatter
Reds Q&A

MORE BASEBALL
Fay: MLB power rankings
NL: Pujols, Cards hot
AL: Pedro twirls five-hitter
Notes from Saturday's games
Louisville 4, Buffalo 1
Cy Young vs. Cy Old
Mix up makes Choi the NL rookie of month
Ex-Astro Lugo says he didn't strike wife

KENTUCKY DERBY
Funny Cide up in Derby
Jockey Santos realizes dream with a gelding
Frankel accepts defeat in stride
A win for owners, and their home state
In a N.Y. minute - or two
No fade at finish for humbled Patton

BENGALS
Bengals begin to take shape
Newest receiver should fit right in
Bengals Q&A
Kitna comes out with early praise for Warrick

COLLEGE FOOTBALL
Price fired as Alabama football coach
Tide president made the right call
Alabama players upset by coach's firing

PREP SPORTS
Daugherty: O.J. Mayo
Prep Insider
Prep results, schedule

BASKETBALL
Cronin's goal is to outfox ex-employers UC, U of L for recruits
Pictures worth 1,000 words for Missouri English major
Court: newspaper may be entitled to Knight records
Duncan to repeat as MVP

AUTO RACING
Ky. Speedway still hoping for Cup race
Driver Nadeau critical but improving

HOCKEY
Giguere pulled in loss to Stars
Clones lose finale

GOLF
Verplank maintains 3-shot lead

TENNIS
Venus advances

BOXING
De La Hoya stops Campas

SUNDAY SPORTS SPOTLITE
Ignorance is bliss for Thomas More
Some college coaches can't be trusted
'I made some very, very poor decisions'
Division II Lewis beats BYU for NCAA title
Top Of The Second power rankings

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