Ex-Jag on top by one

Former Augusta State golfer Richard Johnson birdied the final two holes Saturday to take a one-shot lead after three rounds of the Nationwide Tour's BMW Charity Pro-Am At The Cliffs in Travelers Rest, S.C.


Johnson, a 1995 Augusta State graduate, shot 4-under-par 68 on the par-72 Cliffs Valley course and is at 11-under 203. Tommy Gainey shot 69 on the par-71 Keowee Vine-yards course and is at 204.

Johnson, who had six birdies and two bogeys, enters today's final round seeking his third Nationwide Tour victory. He won the Florida Classic in 1999 and the Monterey Peninsula Classic in 2000.

Augusta native Scott Parel shot 70 on the Keowee Vineyards course and is tied for 39th at 211.

REGIONS CHARITY CLASSIC: In Hoover, Ala., Bob Gilder overcame back problems to take the second-round lead, shooting 6-under-par 66 that included putts for eagle and birdie on two of the final three holes.

"When I walked out of my room this morning, I was thinking about withdrawing," said the 56-year-old Gilder, a nine-time winner on the 50-and-over tour. "My back went out on me. I was very skeptical about what was going to happen today."

But a morning visit to a chiropractor at the course fixed him up, and the late surge gave him a two-stroke lead over first-round leader Scott Hoch at 10-under 134.

Steve Ballesteros struggled again in his first Champions Tour start, following his opening 78 with an 81. The five-time major winner was last in the 78-player field at 15 over - 25 strokes behind Gilder.

SYBASE CLASSIC: In Clifton, N.J., Sarah Lee went shot for shot with defending champion Lorena Ochoa and got the best of the No. 1 player in women's golf.

She will have to do it one more time, though, to win for the first time on the LPGA Tour.

Lee shot a near flawless 7-under-par 65 to open a two-shot lead over Ochoa after three rounds of the $1.4 million LPGA tournament, an event that has been seemingly been reduced to two-player field.

IRISH OPEN: In Adare, Ireland, Padraig Harrington stretched his lead to three shots as he tries to become the first Irishman to win this event in 25 years.

The 35-year-old Dubliner was 1 over at the turn but birdied Nos. 12 and 17 to shoot 1-under 71 and finish at 4-under 212 after the third round at Adare Manor.

Former Augusta State golfer James Heath shot 77 and is tied for 20th at 221.

CHESDIN REALTY OPEN: In Chesterfield, Va., Nick Rousey, of Pensacola, Fla., shot 4-under-par 68 to open a five-shot lead after three rounds.

Rousey is at 18-under 198 in the NGA/Hooters Tour event at Lake Chesdin Golf Club.

Augusta's Jay Mundy and Aiken natives Kevin Kisner and Alex Hamilton are tied for 34th at 215. Mundy shot 71, Kisner shot 72 and Hamilton shot 74.

Former Augusta State golfer Emmett Turner shot 73 and is tied for 54th at 217.

Scott Jamieson, another former Augusta State golfer, is 75th.


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