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BLOWN OPPORTUNITIES ASIDE, CLEARWATER RETAINS SLIM LEAD

SHARE BLOWN OPPORTUNITIES ASIDE, CLEARWATER RETAINS SLIM LEAD

Keith Clearwater was a disappointed leader after the third round of the International.

Clearwater held a 1-point lead over U.S. Open champion Ernie Els after Saturday's round, but all he could think about was how many points he let get away."I'm really bummed out," Clearwater said. "I let myself down quite a bit coming in. I had short putts on (Nos.) 15, 17 and 18, and I didn't make any of them. I left 7 points out there in the last four holes, and you can't do that under this format."

Clearwater lipped out an 8-foot birdie putt at No. 15, then lipped out an 8-footer for eagle at the par-5 17th. He settled for a birdie - worth 2 points - but failed to get the 5-point eagle. At the 18th, he missed a 10-foot birdie putt.

Clearwater's 11-point round gave him a total of 30 points. Els had the day's best round - a plus-17 that included a tournament record-tying 10 birdies - for 29 points.

Under the modified Stableford scoring system used here, a golfer receives 8 points for a double eagle, 5 for eagle, 2 for birdie, zero for par, minus-1 for bogey and minus-3 for double bogey or worse.

Points are cumulative over all four rounds. The 144-player field, which was reduced to 72 for the third round, was cut again to 24 for the final round.

Among those missing the cut were Chip Beck, Tom Watson, Fred Couples, Davis Love III and Ian Baker-Finch.

Also mounting an early charge was Beck, who scored 13 points in his first eight holes, capped by an eagle at No. 8, to get to plus-21. He double-bogeyed No. 9, however, and had two subsequent bogeys to finish at plus-16 and miss the cut.

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In Naperville, Ill., Jane Geddes broke out of the pack with three birdies in a five-hole stretch on the back nine to take a three-stroke lead after the third round of the LPGA Chicago Challenge on Saturday.

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Dave Stockton, dubbed the best "wind player" on the Senior PGA Tour by rival Jim Albus, took advantage a steady breeze and gusts as high as 25 mph Saturday to shoot a 6-under-par 66 in the Burnet Senior Classic. He has a one-stroke lead over Albus heading into the final round.

"It was testy," said Albus, who also shot a 66. "I play in Florida and you have to be able to control the wind there. I think I'm a good wind player. But Dave Stockton is not exactly the guy you want to be going up against if it's windy."