Duval takes lead in Vegas Classic

Posted: Sunday, October 13, 2002

LAS VEGAS -- David Duval, showing signs he might ready to reclaim his spot among golf's best, shot a 9-under 63 Saturday in the Invensys Classic at Las Vegas to get in position for his first win since last year's British Open.

Revitalized by the Ryder Cup and hoping to end a miserable year on a positive note, Duval made nine birdies and nine pars to take a one-shot lead over third-round leader Jim Furyk and Jeff Sluman going into the final round of the 90-hole event.

It was his lowest round since the 2001 Tour Championship, moving Duval to 24 under through four rounds and leaving him excited about his prospects over the final 18 holes.

''Tomorrow I have one goal and that's to win the golf tournament,'' Duval said.

Duval, who started the day five shots behind Furyk, moved into contention right away with birdies on the first three holes on yet another day of ideal scoring conditions on the TPC at Summerlin.

He shot 31 on the front side, then added four more birdies on the back in a round where he did nothing brilliant but everything very well.

''I derive a lot of satisfaction from making the game look boring and easy,'' Duval said. ''I like to make it stress free.''

Duval, who shared the lead last week after two rounds at the Michelob Championship before fading to a tie for 25th, had it by himself playing before sparse crowds on a warm fall afternoon.

But there was plenty of red numbers on the leaderboard, and plenty of would-be challengers lurking just behind.

Jonathan Byrd (64) and Stuart Appleby (67) were 22 under, while six players, including last week's winner Charles Howell III, were four strokes off the lead at 20 under.

''You can't control what other guys are going to do,'' Duval said. ''Some other guy may go out and shoot 62 and I can't control what he does.''

Furyk didn't make a bogey for the fourth straight round, but needed a birdie on the 18th hole to shoot a 3-under 69.

That kind of score most often means a player is losing ground on a course that has little rough, little trouble and manicured fairways and greens.

''The course is just set up to make birdies,'' Appleby said. ''You're just going to see birdie, birdie, birdie out there.''

Furyk and Sluman, two relatively short hitters, will be paired in the final threesome with Duval, one of the longer hitters on tour.

''It's not like Jim Furyk and I are going to hit ground balls 220 yards. We can get it there too,'' Sluman said, who had a 68.

Duval, who has been troubled by personal problems and injuries, said he felt revitalized by being a member of the Ryder Cup team. Duval made a key putt on the 18th hole for a half in his match with Darren Clarke, then went on to cheer his teammates on.

Duval also spurred he and Mark Calcavecchia on to the biggest comeback win of the Ryder Cup on Saturday when he drove the treacherous par-4 10th hole.

''I got into a position where it wasn't about me, my performance and how I was playing,'' Duval said. ''You did whatever you could to help the team. I just got fired up for it.''

LPGA Tournament of Champions

MOBILE, Ala. -- Carin Koch struggled to protect her lead in the Mobile LPGA Tournament of Champions, allowing Annika Sorenstam and Se Ri Pak to move into contention. Koch ended a string of nine scrambling pars with a tap-in birdie on the 18th to salvage a 2-under 70 on Magnolia Grove's Crossings Course. She had a tournament-record 17-under 199 total.

Emilee Klein was two strokes back after a 67, Pak (67) and Cristie Kerr (69) were another shot behind, and Sorenstam (67) was alone at 13 under. Klein holed a three-quarter 9-iron shot from 98 yards for eagle on the par-5 16th.

Sorenstam is seeking her 10th LPGA Tour victory of the year in a bid to break the record of 13 set by Mickey Wright in 1963. The Swedish star has 11 worldwide victories in 20 starts this year, winning her last four individual tournaments -- the Compaq Classic in Sweden and three LPGA Tour events.

Nancy Lopez, playing the final event of her last full season on the tour, was 5 over after a 78.

Lancome Trophy

SAINT NOM LA BRETECHE, France -- Germany's Alex Cejka shot a 1-over 72 in windy conditions and Dutchman Maarten Lafeber had a 74 to share the third-round lead in the Lancome Trophy.

Cejka and Lafeber had 9-under 204 totals. Wales' Ian Woosnam (65) was a stroke back along with countryman Bradley Dredge (70), Englishmen Simon Dyson (67) and Ian Garbutt (68) and New Zealand's Greg Turner (67). Defending champion Sergio Garcia of Spain was three strokes back at 207 after a 70.

Napa Valley Championship

NAPA, Calif. -- Tom Kite, seeking his third victory of the season, shot a 6-under 66 to take a two-stroke lead after the second round of the Napa Valley Championship.

Kite had a 12-under 132 total on the Silverado Resort course. First-round leader Allen Doyle was 10 under after a 70, and 65-year-old Charles Coody had a 67 to join Bob Gilder (69) at 8 under.

Kite grabbed a share of the lead with an eagle on the par-5, 512-yard ninth hole, and took over sole possession of the top spot with a birdie on No. 10. The Texan added birdies on Nos. 15 and 16, and opened a three-shot lead with a birdie on the final hole.

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