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DiMarco, Kaye share lead

Posted: Sunday, February 01, 2004

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. On a day when nearly everyone made a charge, Chris DiMarco had one of the best.

DiMarco shot his way into a share of the third-round lead in the FBR Open on Saturday, shooting a 7-under 64 to join Jonathan Kaye at 14-under 199.

Kaye carded a 66, making all five of his birdies on the back nine, and second-round leader Phil Mickelson was one shot back after a 68.

The leaderboard for the final round will be packed with crowd favorites DiMarco (2002), Mickelson (1996) and Vijay Singh (1995, 2003) are former Phoenix Open champions and international stars such as Mike Weir, Bernhard Langer and Sergio Garcia.

Langer (66), Justin Leonard (66), Weir (68) and Ricky Barnes (68) were three shots off the pace, with Singh, Garcia, Steve Flesch, Fredrik Jacobson and first-round leader Scott Verplank at 203.

Leonard, who was 1 over after 12 holes, tied a Phoenix record by birdieing the last six, and Singh charged into contention with a remarkable 63 matching the best round of this tournament and his winning score in the fourth round last year.

Singh had eight birdies to move within range of his 11th consecutive top-10 finish, the most since Greg Norman's 11 in 1993-94.

DiMarco, whose wife had their third child the first week of January, waited until the Bob Hope last week to start his season and then missed the cut. But he was 7 under through two rounds this time and was on target from the start, starting his chain of birdies with a 20-foot putt on the second hole. He had a short putt for birdie on No. 3, but holed a 15-footer on No. 6 and a 25-footer on No. 9.

Champions Skins Game

WAILEA, Hawaii Tom Watson won the Champions Skins Game, taking the final five skins and $260,000 with a par on the third hole of a playoff.

Watson, the leader after the first nine holes with $70,000, finished the two-day event with $400,000 and 10 skins.

The 2003 Champions Tour player of the year tapped in for par and won when defending champion Lee Trevino three-putted from 25 feet for bogey.

Arnold Palmer, who failed to win a skin the past two years, was second with $140,000, Jack Nicklaus made $60,000 and Trevino was shut out.

Johnnie Walker Classic

BANGKOK, Thailand Denmark's Thomas Bjorn shot a 2-under 70 to take a one-stroke lead over Spain's Miguel Angel Jimenez after the third round of the Johnnie Walker Classic.

Bjorn had just one bogey, on the 13th hole, and was at 14-under 202 with one round left. Jimenez shot a 67.

Defending champion Ernie Els of South Africa missed an easy putt on the final hole and finished with a 69, leaving him four strokes back at 206.



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