Roberts takes lead with round of 7-under

Posted: Sunday, June 13, 2004

HARRISON, N.Y. Loren Roberts left the kids behind in the Buick Classic.

The 48-year-old Roberts shot a 7-under 64 on Saturday to take a one-stroke lead over Cameron Beckman and Rory Sabbatini into the final round.

''Hopefully, I've still got some competitive fire in me,'' Roberts said. ''I still think there's some golf courses out here on tour that I can compete on, and I think this is one of them.''

Roberts called the ''Boss of the Moss'' because of his brilliant putting touch has five top-10 finishes in 18 starts on the hilly, tree-lined Westchester Country Club course including a second-place tie in 2002.

''I've always loved this golf course,'' the eight-time tour winner said. ''I just love old-style traditional courses. This is one of the finest that we play.''

He played the back nine in 5-under 30 for his best round of the season, closing with two birdies to top the leaderboard at 12 under in the final PGA Tour event before the U.S. Open next week at Shinnecock Hills.

''I really got just about everything out of my round that I could have gotten,'' Roberts said. ''Obviously, I had a great round. It would be great to dial up another one tomorrow, but for heaven's sake, we'll just see what happens tomorrow.''

Sabbatini shot a 65, and Beckman birdied the final five holes for a 66.

''I had three chip-ins in the last five holes,'' Beckman said. ''I wasn't doing much and birdied the last five holes, so it was nice.''

Tom Byrum (68) and Luke Donald (70) were 10 under, two-time Westchester winner Vijay Singh (71) and Padraig Harrington (68) were another stroke back, and 2001 winner Sergio Garcia (68) was 8 under.

Fred Couples, the second-round leader at 10 under after rounds of 67 and 65, shot a 74 to join Masters champion Phil Mickelson (69) in a five-player group at 7 under. Couples had five bogeys and an eagle a 60-foot bunker shot on the par-5 fifth.

It took the leaders nearly five hours to play the round with nearly all the players reaching the par 5s in two and many trying to drive the two short par 4s.

''It was punishingly slow,'' Roberts said. ''I don't know what happened, but from the fifth hole up until the ninth hole there were three groups on every hole.''

Sabbatini made five long birdies putts three from more than 25 feet and holed a 22-foot chip on the 17th in his long round.

Champions Tour

PARKVILLE, Mo. Allen Doyle shot a 6-under 66 to take a one-shot lead on Jarry Pate after two rounds of the Bayer Advantage Celebrity Pro-Am.

Doyle made four birdies on the front nine and three on the back to move to 13 under.

Pate, who matched the course record with a 7-under 65, charged into contention with birdies on Nos. 5, 7 and 9, and was at 12 under.

Scottish PGA

GLENEAGLES, Scotland Miles Tunnicliff shot a par-72 at the Scottish PGA's Diageo Championship and held a three-shot lead after three rounds and a total of 9-under 207. Denmark's Anders Hansen, Spain's Santiago Luna and Australia's Nick O'Hern were tied for second at 6-under par. Hansen shot an 8-under 64, including an eagle and six birdies.

Curtis Cup

FORMBY, England Michelle Wie gave the United States the lift it needed in the Curtis Cup.

The U.S. team won five of six singles matches to take a 5-4 lead over Britain-Ireland in the biennial competition.

Wie and partner Brittany Lang lost their foursome (alternate shot) match in morning play as the U.S. fell behind 3-0.

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