Wat­ney Hopes New Or­leans Pro­vides a First

The Washington Post Sunday - - High Schools -

Yet an­other po­ten­tial first-time PGA Tour win­ner topped the thir­dround leader board at the Clas­sic of New Or­leans.

Third-year tour player Nick Wat­ney shot a 4-un­der-par 68 yes­ter­day to reach 12 un­der and take a twoshot lead over an­other player who has been seek­ing a maiden tour tri­umph for more than a decade, 38year-old Ken Duke.

Duke shot a 66, the best round of the day in a tour­na­ment that has had first-time win­ners in four of the last five years.

Wat­ney never has en­tered the fi­nal round with the lead.

“I won’t be try­ing to pro­tect any­thing,” Wat­ney as­serted. “I know that the guys are go­ing to come charg­ing. . . . This is the PGA Tour, so it’s def­i­nitely not go­ing to be easy.”

Mark Cal­cavec­chia, who be­gan the day with a one-shot lead, ap­peared to be both­ered by his back and fin­ished with an even-par 72, leav­ing him tied for third with Scott Gutschewski (67) at 9 un­der. Gutschewski also is win­less on the tour.

Rookie Kyle Reifers (71) was alone in fifth at 8 un­der. He shot a course-record 64 on Thurs­day and had a 73 on Fri­day.

Cal­cavec­chia, who won an event last month, is one of only a few familiar names atop the leader board. His only ma­jor hic­cup in the third round was a dou­ble bo­gey on the fourth hole. He also had a bo­gey on the 16th.

The 25-year-old Wat­ney never has fin­ished higher than fifth, which he did twice last year at the Reno-Ta­hoe Open and Fu­nai Clas­sic. K CHAM­PI­ONS TOUR: De­fend­ing cham­pion Jay Haas shot a 3-un­der 69, giv­ing him a one-stroke lead over Brad Bryant, Wayne Levi and Mark James en­ter­ing the fi­nal round of the Leg­ends of Golf in Savannah, Ga.

Haas, seek­ing his sec­ond vic­tory of the sea­son, was at 7-un­der 137 af­ter three rounds at the Club at Savannah Har­bor. Bryant, who also shot 69, said the 7,087-yard is­land lay­out per­fectly suits Haas.

“Well, I’d be say­ing the same thing about Brad if I was one be­hind him,” Haas said with a laugh. “This is not his first rodeo, by any means.”

Haas, with nine wins on the PGA Tour and seven on the Cham­pi­ons Tour, never has suc­cess­fully de­fended a cham­pi­onship.

“It’s there for me if I shoot a good score,” Haas said. “I’ve got to be sharper, though. There are too many good play­ers right be­hind me.” K EURO­PEAN PGA: Scott Hend of Aus­tralia shot a 5-un­der 67 to move within one stroke of leader Raphael Jac­quelin of France at the Asian Open in Shang­hai.

Jac­quelin had four birdies and two bo­geys for a 70 and an 11-un­der 211 through three rounds at the Tom­son Shang­hai Pudong Golf Club. Swe­den’s Joakim Back­strom (68), Den­mark’s Soren Kjeld­sen (68) and Scot­land’s Si­mon Yates (64) were two shots back.

BY ANDREW CO­HOON — AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Nick Wat­ney watches his drive off the sixth tee at the Clas­sic of New Or­leans. The third-round leader never has fin­ished higher than fifth in a PGA event.

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