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Hard-luck Haas is suddenly Hope-ful

SHARE Hard-luck Haas is suddenly Hope-ful

LA QUINTA, Calif. — Jay Haas is trying to turn back the clock in the Bob Hope Desert Classic.

The 48-year-old Haas, the Hope champion 14 years ago, holed an 8-iron shot from 150 yards out for an eagle to begin his round Saturday. He went on to shoot a 9-under 63 at Indian Wells, good for a one-shot lead over Kenny Perry and Cameron Beckman.

A nine-time PGA Tour winner looking for his first victory since 1993, Haas had a 26-under 262 total through 72 holes in the five-day tournament. He won the 1988 Hope with a 338 total, closing with a 70 for a two-stroke victory over David Edwards.

The pros rotate among four different courses and play with amateurs the first four days of the Hope. Sunday's final round will be played at Palmer Course at PGA West.

Among those within close striking distance of the lead is Phil Mickelson, who shot a 65 to go to 22 under in his first event in five months.

Perry, the 1995 Hope winner, shot a 10-under 62 at PGA West to move into excellent position for a run at the lead over the same course Sunday. Beckman had a 65.

Kirk Triplett (67), Deane Pappas (67), Brandel Chamblee (66) and David Berganio Jr. (64) were at 264, two shots out of the lead.

DUNHILL CHAMPIONSHIP: At Johannesburg, South Africa, South Africa's Martin Maritz shot a 9-under-par 63 to take a two-stroke lead after the third round of the Dunhill Championship.

Maritz had a 17-under 199 total. Mark Foster of England (65) was second at 201, followed by compatriot Sandeep Grewal (68) at 202.

MASTERCARD CHAMPIONSHIP: At Kaupulehu-Kona, Hawaii, Tom Kite followed his course-record 9-under 63 with a 69 to take a five-stroke lead in the Senior PGA Tour's season-opening MasterCard Championship.

Kite birdied five of the first seven holes but had two bogeys on the back nine as the wind picked up on the Hualalai course. He took a 12-under 132 total into the final round.