- The Washington Times - Sunday, June 30, 2002

OWINGS MILLS, Md. Ed Dougherty, trailing leader Don Pooley by four strokes, will be in the hunt when he tees off this morning.
He's been in contention before but that was back in 1999, when he finished second to Dave Eichelberger. So when Dougherty's moment in front of the cameras came yesterday after shooting a 68, he was not ready for the spotlight. Literally.
Standing on the interview podium, the glare of the television cameras flustered him as he tried to shield his eyes. "I can't deal with that," he said.
Dougherty had no problem dealing with the green on 18. He adjusted perfectly and holed a 20-foot birdie putt.
"That allowed my dinner to taste a little better tonight," he said.
Dougherty, a Vietnam War veteran who uses a red, white and blue grip on his putter, drove the ball well yesterday, and that helped translate to five birdies.
"Everybody has their own agenda in the Open," he said when asked about his mindset entering today. "My agenda was just to improve one position with my best finish in the Open. You know what that was?"
Second, a reporter remembered.
"That's right," Dougherty said.
Dead silence.
"That was supposed to be humor," he added.

Eaks-gad, man
Eaks played himself out of contention yesterday, but there was never a dull moment during his third round 78. Eaks' bombs-away approach off the tee had the crowd oohing and aahing. At other times, though, the gallery would have been well served to practice its duck-and-cover drills.
Eaks' second shot on the 5th hooked into the gallery. The errant ball bounced off the back of a spectator who was trying to run out of the way, then settled into some tall grass. As Eaks readied to take his next swing with a difficult lie, he sought the advice of the onlookers circled around him.
"Anybody ever hit it over here?" he asked jokingly, eliciting a chorus of laughter.
One hole later, his approach shot on No.6 sailed beyond the green and skipped under the gallery rope. When Eaks walked up, he informed the spectators that they were luckier than the ones on No.5.
"I almost took somebody out on the last hole," he told them, drawing more laughs.

Watson laments missed chances
Tom Watson had the type of day every golfer experiences at one time or another.
There were plenty of good shots to savor, but the ones he remembered most were the ones that went awry.
Watson opened his round with three straight birdies but made only one more the rest of the way and finished with a 69, three shots behind Pooley.
The culprit was an erratic putter.
"There were a lot of missed opportunities, and it's very disappointing," Watson said. "It's gut-wrenching. I can't tell you how much it hurts. But that's part of the game."
Watson still has a good shot at winning the tournament if his putter cooperates.
This article is based in part on wire service reports.


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