Barbara Nicklaus' worst fears were realized Saturday in Miami.
"I just hope he doesn't wake up," she said after hubbyJack surged into contention with a 63 Friday.
But the great man, holder of a record 18 major professional titles, was jolted into full, eye-popping wakefullness - and back to reality - with a humbling 75 Saturday.
It all but eliminated the 51-year-old Nicklaus - suddenly appearing more the Olden Bear than the Golden - from title contention and opened the gates for a not-quite-so-senior Andy Bean to assume third-round control of the Doral Open.
"The last six holes just killed me," said Nicklaus, who played that stretch 4 over par.
Bean, a three-time winner of this title, put himself in position to challenge for his first victory in five years with a wind-blown, 5-under-par 67 that included a 110-yard wedge shot for an eagle-3 on the 8th hole.
Bean, 38, made up three shots on the last three holes against lefty Russ Cochran. With a 203 total, Bean will take a one-stroke lead into Sunday's final round.
"It's good to be back in position to win a tournament again," said the big, burly man whose production was slowed by a two-year bout with tendonitis.
Cochran, not yet a winner in a nine-season PGA Tour career, held a 2-stroke lead as late as the 15th hole, but put a bogey-bogey finish on a 68 that dropped him back into a tie for second at 204.
He shared that position with Rocco Mediate. Appearing on the leader board for most of the season, Mediate also had a 4-under-par 68 in the strong winds that gusted to 30 mph.
Nicklaus, who stormed to within a single shot of the second-round lead with his best score in a decade, appeared to have taken himself out of it.
The irons that covered the flags on Friday, drifted off line Saturday. His chipping was uncertain. The putts that fell Friday lipped out Saturday.
"The first two rounds, I hit 15 or 16 greens each day," he said. "Today I only hit about eight."
The result: a 12-shot difference.
He was six strokes behind the leader, with eight players in front of him, after a struggling 39 over the back nine.
Mark Calcavecchia and Davis Love III, shared fourth at 207, four strokes behind the leader. Love one-putted all the back-nine greens and used only 22 strokes on 18 greens in a round of 68. Calcavecchia shot 69.
Second-round leader Ken Perry, Lanny Wadkins and Wayne Levi followed at 208. Wadkins shot 70, Levi 71 and Perry 75.
At Ojai, Calif., Bruce Crampton, trying to become the first player this year to win two PGA Senior tournaments, fired a 5-under-par 65 Saturday for a one-stroke lead entering the final round of the $450,000 GTE West Senior Classic.
Defending champion Walt Zembriski, Gary Player, Chi Chi Rodriguez, Dick Hendrickson and Dick Rhyan shot 66 at the par-70 Ojai Valley Country Club.
Crampton must protect his lead for only 18 more holes because rain Friday shortened the event from three days to two.
"I've now got an opportunity to be the first multi-winner," said the 56-year-old Crampton, victorious earlier in the Senior Tournament of Champions. "I had a good, solid round but I missed some opportunities for birdies when I misread the putts.
Player is looking for his first win since the 1990 PGA Seniors championship.
"When you have a 36-hole tournament you have to come out of the gate like a quarterhorse," he said. `You can't afford to get very far behind.
"I played well, did everything well."
At Wailea, Hawaii, Deb Richard missed a bunch of birdie opportunities Saturday but redeemed herself on the second hole of sudden death and beat Cindy Rarick for the Women's Kemper Open title.
Dawn Coe shot a 70 and finished third at 7-under. Ok-Hee Ku of South Korea shot a 66 and finished at 6-under, tied for fourth place with Patty Sheehan.