Originally created 12/14/03

Golf roundup



THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. - Davis Love III made four straight birdies to leave Tiger Woods in the dust and pull away from a world-class field Saturday, finishing with 9-under-par 63 to build a three-shot lead in the Target World Challenge.

Despite a bogey on the par-3 17th, Love tied the tournament record set last year by Padraig Harrington in the third round. Harrington built a record six-shot lead and hung on to win against Woods.

Love, at 11-under 205, only had a three-shot margin over K.J. Choi (65), although he won't have to worry about Woods.

As most of the leaders were posting birdies on a sunny, benign afternoon at Sherwood, the tournament host gave up ground with a three-putt bogey on No. 3 and then hit his tee shot into the water for a bogey on the next hole.

Woods lost all hope on the final hole, hitting off the pine straw and coming up well short, into the water, and he had to make a 15-footer for bogey. He had 72 and was nine shots back at 214.

"I was confident all day," Love said. "I'm getting more and more comfortable playing with Tiger and around the lead."

Love was tied with Choi and Justin Leonard when his 4-iron on the difficult par-3 8th climbed just enough to hop into the fringe and stop about 6 feet above the hole for one of only two birdies in the round.

Love holed putts of 20 feet and 15 feet for birdies on the next two holes, then easily reached the par-5 11th with a 5-iron to set up his fourth straight birdie.

"I had my pompoms out, cheering him on," Woods said. "I told him on the 10th tee I was two ahead. He said, 'How's that?' I told him I was getting a stroke a hole."

Love smiled when asked about Woods' comments.

"I didn't want to stick my hand in the cage and ask him if he wanted strokes," Love said.

AUSTRALIAN PGA: Australia's Peter Senior maintained his five-stroke lead in the Australian PGA in Coolum, capping a 3-under-par 69 in late swirling wind with a 50-foot birdie putt.

Senior completed three rounds at 18-under 198 on the Hyatt Regency resort course. Former University of Houston player Wade Ormsby tied the course record with 63 to join fellow Australians Rod Pampling (69) and Craig Parry (68) at 13-under.

ASIAN MASTERS: Ted Purdy of the United States shot an even-par round of 71 that included a triple-bogey 7 but shared a one-stroke lead after three rounds in Bangkok, Thailand with Lin Keng-chi of Taiwan.

Purdy's triple-bogey came on the eighth hole, where he hooked a 4-iron out of bounds.