Sunday, July 6, 2008
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BETHESDA, Md. - On a wild day for everyone around him, Tom Pernice Jr. kept it steady and simple Saturday for a 1-under 69 in the AT&T National that gave him a one-shot lead and a chance to win for the first time in seven years.
Pernice seized the lead, but not control, with an approach that stopped just inside 3 feet at the 17th for only his second birdie on a steamy, still afternoon that yielded plenty of low scores.
He was at 10-under 200 and was one shot ahead of Steve Stricker, the runner-up a year ago, who had a 66.
Stricker was among four players who had at least a share of the lead throughout the third round, but he hit a 7-iron over the 17th green and caught the lip with a 12-foot par putt from the fringe.
Jeff Overton, tied with Pernice to start the third round, was fortunate to still have a chance. His struggles began with a tee shot into the bunker on the par-3 10th hole to take bogey, then seemingly fell apart with consecutive double bogeys that left him four shots behind.
Overton rallied with birdies on his next two holes and salvaged at 71, leaving him at 8-under 202 with Tommy Armour III (66) and Nick O'Hern (67), the left-handed Aussie best known for twice beating Tiger Woods in match play.
The wildest day belonged to 23-year-old Anthony Kim, an explosive player who saw both sides of that. Kim went six holes without a par in the middle of his round - three bogeys, three birdies - before a birdie on the 18th hole for a 69.
He was at 203, along with Tim Herron (65) and Cliff Kresge (69).