- The Washington Times - Sunday, June 1, 2008

DUBLIN, Ohio - Mathew Goggin kept birdies and mistakes to a minimum on a long day at the Memorial, shooting a 1-under 71 yesterday that was good enough to build a three-shot lead as he tries to claim his first PGA Tour victory.

Muirfield Village changed its character, but only slightly, thanks to a 2 1/2-hour rain delay that led to long shadows late in the third round. What didn’t change was the rough and difficult conditions, and Goggin didn’t have to do much to keep his lead.

He was at 8-under 208, the highest 54-hole score at Jack Nicklaus’ event since Greg Norman won a rain-shortened tournament in 1990 at even-par 216.

Former Masters champion Mike Weir matched the best round of the day, a bogey-free 68 that put him at 5-under 211 and in the final group with Goggin, who has never had a 54-hole lead on the PGA Tour.

Matt Kuchar was among those going backward until holing out with a wedge for eagle on the 15th, following that with a birdie on the 16th and posting a 71 to join the large group in a tie for second.

Also at 211 was Justin Rose (70), who captured the European Tour Order of Merit last year but has yet to win on this side of the Atlantic; Jerry Kelly, whose superb ball-striking was wasted by 34 putts in his round of 73; and Kenny Perry, whose spirits were lifted with an 18-foot birdie on the last hole for a 74.

Perry, a two-time champion at the Memorial who has squandered two good chance to win this month, missed six putts inside 10 feet on the back nine as he slid further away from Goggin. But the birdie on No. 18 kept him in the game.

No one knows what to expect from Goggin, whose best finish in his 6 1/2 years on tour was a tie for second in the Western Open.

Gustafson pulls away

MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. - Sophie Gustafson shot a 67 to push past a faltering Karrie Webb and take a six-stroke lead into the final round of the Ginn Tribute.

Tournament host Annika Sorenstam, meanwhile, continued to struggle with a 75.

No one could keep up with Gustafson in the third round.

Tied with Webb when the round began, Gustafson started quickly with an eagle and two birdies on her first six holes to go four up on the Australian Hall of Famer.

Gustafson continued to grow her lead, bouncing back from a double bogey on the 12th - her first bogey in 33 holes - with two birdies down the stretch. Na-Yeon Choi shot a 68 to tie Webb (73) for second.

Price moves ahead

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa - Nick Price shot a 5-under 66 and took a one-shot lead after the second round of the Champions Tour’s Principal Charity Classic.

Price will enter the final round at Glen Oaks Country Club with a 6-under 136 total. Six players, including Bobby Wadkins and Mark McNulty, were one shot back.

Joey Sindelar and Tom Purtzer shot even-par 71s and were two shots back at 4-under. Defending champion Jay Haas, who last week won the Senior PGA Championship, shot a 3-under 68 and also was at 138.

Eleven players are within two strokes of Price entering today. Haas, however, is the only one currently in the top 10 on the Champions Tour money list.

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