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 hole 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 a 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.
ANGELA PARK SHOOTS 62: At Rogers, Ark., Angela Park's final putt was as impressive as her round an uphill birdie attempt from about 25 feet that capped a 10-under 62.
Kristy McPherson wasn't about to be outdone.
McPherson answered Park with a birdie of her own, sinking a downhill putt from the fringe, about 20 feet from the hole. The two playing partners were within a stroke of the lead Saturday in the second round of the LPGA Tour's NW Arkansas Championship.
"Obviously, everything went right today," said Park, who equaled the lowest round on the LPGA Tour this year.Park and McPherson were at 11 under with one round remaining in the 54-hole event at Pinnacle Country Club. Meena Lee shot a 65 in the second round to finish the day at 12 under. Several players were still on the course late Saturday afternoon in the tournament that has been delayed by rain.
SORENSTAM BEATS OCHOA IN SKINS EVENT: At Ixtapa, Mexico, Annika Sorenstam won 11 skins and $165,000 to beat Lorena Ochoa on Saturday in an exhibition event, the Swedish star's third straight victory over the top-ranked Mexican in the event.
"It was a great experience thanks to all the Mexicans. Every time I played here was a great one. You have always been nice to me," said Sorenstam, set to retire at the end of the season.Ochoa earned $105,000.
CHAMPIONS TOUR: At Endicott, N.Y., Argentina's Eduardo Romero shot his second straight 7-under 65 on Saturday to take a one-shot lead over Fulton Allem and crowd favorite Joey Sindelar in the Dick's Sporting Goods Open.Romero, who began the day two shots behind first-round leader Joe Ozaki, had 16 birdies and one double bogey over the two rounds and was at 14-under 130. Allem and Sindelar shot 65s. Ozaki (70) was fourth at 11 under.
EUROPEAN OPEN: At Ash, England, England's Ross Fisher shot a 3-under 69 to take a three-stroke lead over Northern Ireland's Graeme McDowell in the European Open.