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Lowery, Petterson tied atop Chrysler leaderboard

Associated Press

Steve Lowery and Carl Petterson were on the putting green when they felt the warm wind on their face and slick grass beneath their feet Saturday, two sure signs that the Chrysler Championship at Palm Harbor, Fla., would be as tough as ever.

That’s one reason neither feels safe sharing a three-shot lead.

Petterson found his rhythm around the turn, hitting five straight iron shots inside 12 feet and converting three for birdie on his way to a 4-under-par 67.

Lowery saved par with a 30-foot putt on the ninth, then birdied the next two holes for a 1-under 70, a satisfying round on another tough day at Innisbrook that put him atop the leaderboard with Petterson at 9-under 204.

Davis Love III (70), Tom Pernice Jr. (70) and Daniel Chopra (68) were at 207.

Love, trying to avoid another winless season, rebounded from a double bogey in the water on No. 3 to stay in the hunt, although he lost a chance to get into the final group by missing a 6-foot birdie on the last hole.

•The PGA Tour hits a milestone this week that Commissioner Tim Finchem believes is as noteworthy as Byron Nelson winning 11 in a row or Tiger Woods holding all the major trophies at the same time.

Charitable giving in golf is at the $1 billion mark.

“This week’s tournaments will put us over the top,” Finchem said.

It all started with a $10,000 donation from the 1938 Palm Beach Invitational. It accelerated a decade ago when the tour put a strong emphasis on charity for events on the PGA Tour, Champions Tour and Nationwide Tour.

•Casey Martin failed to advance out of the first stage of PGA Tour qualifying at Hollister, Calif., and the golfer who sued the PGA Tour for the right to ride a cart believes it’s time to find another job.

“I’ve pretty much made it clear that this would be my last Q-school,” Martin said on Golf Digest’s Web site. “I’m not saying I’ll never compete again. But I don’t anticipate it being my main thing.”

The 33-year-old Martin has a circulatory disease in his right leg that makes it difficult to walk. He successfully sued the tour in 1998 to use a cart, a decision eventually upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court.

LPGA Tour

South Korean Jee Young Lee had an eight-shot lead, but made two double bogeys over the final five holes and wound up three strokes ahead entering the final round of the LPGA Tour’s CJ Nine Bridges Classic at Jeju, South Korea.

Lee finished with a three-putt double bogey on the par-5 18th hole for a 1-over 73. At 6-under 138, she was leading Mi Hyun Kim (71) and Women’s British Open champion Jeong Jang (74).

Hee Young Park was at 142. Another shot behind were 19-year-old Paula Creamer (70) and Koch, who shot a 76.

Champions Tour

Jay Haas shot a 9-under 63 to take a six-shot lead after the third round of the Charles Schwab Cup Championship at Sonoma, Calif.

Haas, starting the day just one stroke back at 5 under, sprinted to 9 under after six holes and never looked back. He birdied Nos. 2-5 during one stretch, and finished at 14-under 202.

Tom Kite, who was tied for 10th at 4 under after the second round, started with three straight birdies and finished tied for second with tour leading money-winner Dana Quigley (68), Tom Watson (69), Loren Roberts and Lonnie Nielsen.

European Tour

Sergio Garcia shot a 68 to share the third-round lead with Colin Montgomerie at 10 under in the Volvo Masters at Sotogrande, Spain.

Montgomerie, whose 1-under 70 left him in position to win his eighth European money title, double-bogeyed the par-5 17th after Garcia had birdied the two preceding holes. The Scot had led by six strokes after 13 holes.

Paul McGinley, who had six birdies en route to a 65, joined Lee Westwood (67), Paul Broadhurst (67) and defending champion Ian Poulter (72) in third place, four strokes back.

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