Lee Janzen proved again he plays his best when conditions are the toughest with a 69 Saturday on the firm and fast Stadium Course to take a three-stroke lead into the final round of The Players Championship in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.
Janzen, whose one-stroke victory here in 1995 was the only winning margin in the tournament fewer than four strokes since 1991, was at 10-under-par 206, with Glen Day at 209 and British Open champion Justin Leonard at 211.The 69 by Janzen on Saturday was especially impressive on a day in which no one shot below 68 and there were only six rounds in the 60s.
"The other guys will have to shoot at the pins and that makes it tougher," Janzen said. "I can't do anything to let them catch up. As long as I make pars that will help me."
Janzen stretched his lead when he played the last 10 holes three under par, managing not to make a bogey while rolling in birdie putts on Nos. 9, 14 and 16.
The birdie on No. 16 was nearly an eagle when Janzen's putt from 30 feet hit the hole but stayed out.
"It's not as much of a lead if the course were soft," Day said, implying that Janzen could stumble on Sunday. "A three-shot lead here . . . you never knows what's going to happen."
Even Janzen seemed to agree.
"Disaster is waiting on every hole," he said.
Leonard, who like Janzen fares well when birdies hard to come by, shot a 70 in the third round with 12 one-putt greens.
"It seemed like all day I was either making a 12-footer for birdie or a 6-footer for par," Leonard said.
Nabisco Dinah Shore
At Rancho Mirage, Calif., Pat Hurst, playing through chilly rain and gusty winds, kept hitting fairways and sinking putts to cling to the lead Saturday in the Nabisco Dinah Shore.
Hurst shot a 2-under-par 70 to go to 6-under for the tournament, one stroke in front of Liselotte Neumann. Coming off a win last weekend at Phoenix, Neumann stayed close with a 71 on a day of weird weather at Mission Hills Country Club.
Southwestern Bell Dominion
At San Antonio, Bob Dickson shot a 5-under-par 67 Saturday to take a one-stroke lead into the final round at the Southwestern Bell Dominion PGA Senior Tour tournament.
Dickson, who tied for second at the 1996 Dominion event, had seven birdies Saturday for a two-day total of 7-under 137 at the par-72, 6,835-yard course.