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Hoch, Tway share lead at Doral

Posted: Sunday, March 09, 2003

MIAMI -- Don't feel sorry for Scott Hoch the next time he complains of an injury.

Watch out for him.

Hoch was on the verge of withdrawing from the Ford Championship at Doral until he hit his final few practice balls on the range Thursday. He quit believing he could contend Saturday, unable to find a swing to compensate for his ailing left wrist.

By the end of a sweltering afternoon, he was tied for the lead with Bob Tway going into the final round on the Blue Monster.

''You've got to love it,'' Hoch said. ''I feel great.''

No wonder.

Once he found a swing that worked and a putting stroke that couldn't fail, he birdied seven of his last 11 holes for a 6-under 66.

He was at 14-under 202 and tied with Tway (69), who parred the final eight holes.

''After five holes, I told my caddie, 'It doesn't look like we're going to get it done today.' I was trying different swings and it wasn't working,'' Hoch said. ''All of a sudden, things clicked on No. 8 and I started hitting good shot after good shot.''

Hoch, 47, will need plenty more of those in sweltering south Florida.

Sunday is shaping up to be a shootout at Doral, with six others within three shots of the lead.

Tway sounded like he was taking Hoch's approach by keeping his expectations low.

''I'm probably not expected to win, but I know if I play well that I can,'' said Tway, a former PGA champion whose last PGA Tour victory was nearly eight years ago.

Jim Furyk, a winner at Doral three years ago, overcame two short misses with a good par save from the bunker on the 18th hole for a 69. He was one stroke out of the lead at 203 with Carlos Franco of Paraguay, who holed an 18-foot birdie putt on the last for a 68.

Dubai Desert Classic

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates -- Ernie Els bogeyed the troublesome 18th hole but still finished with a 3-under 69 to grab a share of the lead entering the final round of the Dubai Desert Classic.

Els, seeking his third Dubai title and second in a row, birdied the 15th, 16th and 17th holes, giving him a three-round total of 13-under 203. The South African is tied with Scotland's Alastair Forsyth and England's David Lynn.

Lynn and Forsyth, who has led from the start, also shot 3-under 69. Forsyth had one bogey, on No. 4. Lynn had bogeys on the second and fifth holes, but three birdies on the back nine put him in contention.

MasterCard Classic

MEXICO CITY -- Bruce Lietzke made seven birdies before bogeying the 18th hole to fall into a three-way tie for the lead with Tom Jenkins and Eamonn Darcy at the end of the second round of the MasterCard Classic.

Lietzke finished with a 4-under 68 to tie Jenkins and Darcy at 9-under in the $2 million tournament.

Tom Kite shot a 65 to move 7 under for the tournament -- two shots in back of the leaders. Isao Aoki is tied with Kite in fourth place after shooting a 69 Saturday.



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