Tom Watson shot a three-under-par 68 to put three shots between himself and the rest of the field after three rounds of the $950,000 Las Vegas Invitational.

Watson, who is winless this season, shot a three-under 32 on the front nine of the Las Vegas Country Club course. "I birdied my first hole, which is a nice way to start the day," he said. "It eliminates the nerves right away."

However, he scored a bogey at both the 14th and 15th holes.

"Except for those few holes on the back nine, I felt I had a good scoring day," he said. "It's (his game) not there yet, but we're getting pretty close."

Watson's 68, combined with a first-day 66 and a second-day 65, gave him a 14-under 199 through three days of play.

With two rounds to go, Mike Smith (66 at Tropicana) and Bill Glasson (part 72 at the Desert Inn) were at 202. Frank Conner, who made a run at the lead Thursday was at 203 aafter a 69 at Tropicana. Brett Upper was alone at 204 after firing a 66 on the Tropicana course. Golf Watson Leads by 3 Shots In Las Vegas Invitational

LAS VEGAS, March 22 -- Tom Watson shot a three-under-par 68 to put three shots between himself and the rest of the field after three rounds of the $950,000 Las Vegas Invitational.

Watson, who is winless this season, shot a three-under 32 on the front nine of the Las Vegas Country Club course. "I birdied my first hole, which is a nice way to start the day," he said. "It eliminates the nerves right away."

However, he scored a bogey at both the 14th and 15th holes.

"Except for those few holes on the back nine, I felt I had a good scoring day," he said. "It's (his game) not there yet, but we're getting pretty close."

Watson's 68, combined with a first-day 66 and a second-day 65, gave him a 14-under 199 through three days of play.

With two rounds to go, Mike Smith (66 at Tropicana) and Bill Glasson (part 72 at the Desert Inn) were at 202. Frank Conner, who made a run at the lead Thursday was at 203 aafter a 69 at Tropicana. Brett Upper was alone at 204 after firing a 66 on the Tropicana course.