Mon, Jan 07, 2008 - Page 19 News List

Weir leads after third round of Mercedes-Benz

AFP , KAPALUA, HAWAII

Mike Weir of Canada tees off on the 17th hole of the Plantation Course during the third round of the Mercedes-Benz Championship golf tournament in Kapalua, Hawaii, on Saturday. At left is playing partner Stephen Ames of Canada.

PHOTO: AP

Mike Weir fired a five-under-par 68 for a one-shot lead after the third round of the season-opening US$5.5 million PGA Mercedes-Benz tournament on Saturday.

Weir played in an all-Canadian pairing with Stephen Ames and found himself tied for the lead with Ames for much of the round.

Weir went back in front when Ames bogeyed the 10th and he added birdies at Nos. 12, 14 and 18 coming in.

"I saw he board, a lot of good scores. I wanted to keep making birdies," Weir said.

At 13-under 206, Weir leads Nick Watney by one shot. Daniel Chopra and Jonathan Byrd are tied for third at 11-under.

Defending champion Vijay Singh shot 67 and is at eight-under 211 along with last year's US Open champion Angel Cabrera and Chad Campbell.

"I played very well," Singh said. "I could have made four other birdies on the front side that I missed, but it was kind of getting a little frustrating there. But the golf swing is feeling really, really good, so that's a plus."

Ames was a shot back to start the day and is in fifth at 10-under 209 after signing for a three-under 70.

The winner of the 2003 Masters, Weir entered the round with a one-shot lead and birdied the fifth and ninth.

Ames wasted no time grabbing a share of the lead with a birdie at the first. He matched Weir with birdies at Nos. 5 and 9 on the Plantation Course at Kapalua, which is the lone par-73 layout on the PGA Tour.

Weir could have put more distance between himself and the field with makeable birdie putts at 15 and 16 but he grazed the lip on both.

He did close with a birdie at 18 but that just put him right back where he started the day.

After his bogey at 10, Ames was unable to make another birdie until 18 but there were plenty of others ready to step in and put pressure on Weir.

Watney had six birdies in a 67 that included consecutive birdies to close the round.

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