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Funai fireworks in the offing as Lehman, Baird share lead

Tied for the lead in what was shaping up as another shootout at Disney, Tom Lehman believes he has experience on his side.

Not from the last 12 years, but the last three weeks.

Despite five PGA Tour victories, three Ryder Cup teams and one major championship, Lehman's confidence comes from having at least a share of the 54-hole lead for the third consecutive week. He got there Saturday with two eagles in a round of 5-under 67 that left him tied with Briny Baird in the Funai Classic at Disney.

Now all Lehman has to do is write a different ending.

"I'm very much looking forward to tomorrow's round of golf," Lehman said. "I feel like there's really nothing to lose other than just going out and going for it."

He won't be alone.

Baird showed plenty of moxie by recovering from a disastrous start — at Disney, even par on the front nine spells trouble — and a three-shot deficit with five holes to play. He shot a 68 that allowed him to join Lehman at 17-under 199.

Scott Verplank, a runner-up at Disney last year, shot 65 and was one shot behind.

The biggest threat of all might be the most familiar name of all on the leaderboard — Vijay Singh, the No. 1 player in golf going for his fourth straight PGA Tour victory. He hit the ball so pure that he had only one birdie putt longer than 15 feet on the back nine, and the Fijian made enough of them for a 65 to finish three shots behind.

A win by Singh would be his ninth of the year and make him the first $10 million man in golf.

"I had my share (of birdies) out there today," Singh said. "And there's 18 holes tomorrow."

Lehman had a one-shot lead going into the final round at Las Vegas, missed a short par putt on the 71st hole and finished one shot behind after a 69. Last week in Greensboro, he was tied with Brent Geiberger and shot 70, but Geiberger blew everyone away with a 66.

"The ball is in my hand," Lehman said. "If I go out and play a great round of golf and don't make any mistakes, I'm going to be tough to catch — as would Briny Baird, as would Scott Verplank."

And don't forget Cameron Beckman.

At No. 123 on the money list, Beckman put himself in position to easily keep his PGA Tour card and win for the second time with a 68 that left him two shots behind.

It's always a wild ride at the tournament across the street from the Magic Kingdom.

Singh surged into contention with four straight birdies. Lehman got back on track with a 15-foot eagle putt on No. 4, and took a three-shot lead when he holed out from 88 yards in the 13th fairway.

That gave Lehman a three-shot lead over Baird, but the 32-year-old from Miami hung tough. Baird made a 35-foot birdie on the next hole, and regained a share of the lead by stuffing a 9-iron into 20 inches at No. 16, and watching Lehman three-putt for bogey from 40 feet.

MADRID OPEN: At Madrid, Spain, Darren Fichardt had four birdies in a five-hole stretch on the way to a 4-under 67, grabbing a share of the lead with Paul Broadhurst after the third round of the Madrid Open.

The South African birdied Nos. 4, 5, 7 and 8 on his way to tying Broadhurst at 13-under 200. Broadhurst birdied holes 16 and 17 on his way to a 68.

Spain's Ivo Giner birdied four of the last five holes to finish with a 64 and lead a group of four players at 12-under 201. Northern Ireland's Graeme McDowell (67), South Africa's Richard Sterne (66) and Australia's Brett Rumford (66) were also a shot back.

CHARLES SCHWAB CUP CHAMPIONSHIP: At Sonoma, Calif., Tom Kite shot an even-par 72 to take a two-stroke lead over Jose Maria Canizares in a misty drizzle during the third round of the Charles Schwab Cup Championship on Saturday, the Champions Tour's season-ending event at Sonoma Golf Club.

Kite, at 10-under 206, has led each of the first three rounds.

Canizares shot a 2-under 70 to move into second place, while the three golfers who trailed Kite after the second round all fell back.

Hale Irwin made three early bogeys and struggled to a 2-over 74, was in third place at 209, three strokes behind Kite.

Allen Doyle had the rainy day's best round, shooting 5 under to move into fourth place at 211, five strokes behind Kite. Mark McNulty also finished at 211 after a 4-under 68.