Sunday, July 13, 2003

Perry surges to lead by 1 stroke at GMO

Total of 28 golfers within 5 of lead; Els atop Scottish

The Associated Press

Kentuckian Kenny Perry never expected to be in the lead after three rounds at the Greater Milwaukee Open, especially not at only 8 under par.

The 6,759-yard Brown Deer Park course, one of the shortest on the PGA Tour, usually produces scores much lower than that after 54 holes.

But rain, winds and a change of a par-5 hole to par-4 with the removal of a large oak tree have made things tougher this year.

The fairways on the par-70 layout were soft, the pin placement was difficult and the notoriously thick rough is putting the U.S. Open to shame.

"I think it's a combination of everything," said Perry, who resides in Franklin, Ky. "It's all showing. The scores are not very good."

Perry, who finished in the top five each of the last three years at the GMO, grabbed the lead at 202 with a 4-under 66 Saturday.

Perry, who won the Colonial and the Memorial this year, has won four times in the 10 tournaments he has held a 54-hole lead.

Brenden Pappas, who carded a 63, was among a half-dozen golfers one stroke behind. Jay Don Blake (71), the 36-hole leader, also was at 203, along with Jerry Kelly (70), Heath Slocum (68), Steve Allan (68) and Patrick Sheehan (70).

Twenty-eight players are within five shots of the lead.

"The course played harder the first two days, but nobody really did anything," Blake said. "I feel fortunate that I'm still in it just a stroke back."

Blake is looking for his first win in 340 events dating to his victory in the 1991 Shearson Lehman Brothers Open.

Franklin native Frank Lickliter holed out from 117 yards on the 15th hole for an eagle. He's tied for 38th at 209.

SCOTTISH OPEN: Ernie Els stretched his lead to five shots through three rounds with a 4-under-par 67 at Loch Lomond.

Els, tuning up to defend his British Open title next week, collected five birdies and just one bogey - only his second of the tournament - to get to 15-under 198.

BRITISH OPEN: Rocco Mediate (personal) and former European Ryder Cup captain Sam Torrance (knee) have withdrawn.

LPGA CANADIAN OPEN: Juli Inkster shot a 5-under 67 in the rain-delayed third round for a share of the lead with Beth Daniel in Vancouver.

Inkster, 43, who won the Corning Classic in May for her 29th LPGA Tour title, matched Daniel, 46, who shot her third straight 69, at 9-under 207.

Kim Saiki was three strokes back after a 69.

Play was delayed by rain for 1 hour, 40 minutes about an hour after the leader teed off.

PALMER CUP: Spanish teammates Alejandro Canizares and Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano combined to win three matches and lead the European team to a 14-10 victory over the United States.

Canizares, an Arizona State freshman who won the NCAA individual championship last season, joined Castano to open the foursome matches with a 3-and-1 victory over Bill Haas and Chris Nallen. The Spaniards then won afternoon singles matches, Canizares over Brandt Snedeker and Castano again over Haas.

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