Paul Azinger, benefiting from pinpoint accuracy, shot an 8-under-par 63 yesterday to take a three-stroke lead over Wayne Levi after three rounds of the $700,000 Sammy Davis Jr.-Greater Hartford Open in Cromwell, Conn.

Heavy rain interrupted play for 1 hour 40 minutes before the leaders teed off, and it rained through most of the afternoon.

Azinger, the PGA Tour's No. 2 money-winner, birdied the third through fifth holes, added birdies on Nos. 7, 10 and 11, then closed his round with birdies on 17 and 18.

His bogey-free round fell one stroke short of the course record set by last year's tournament winner, Mac O'Grady.

"It was by far the best round of my life," Azinger said. "Every drive I hit went exactly where I wanted. Every iron I hit went exactly where I wanted."

Azinger was at 16-under 197 after three rounds over the 6,786-yard Tournament Players Club of Connecticut course. His score through three rounds was two shots better than the previous 54-hole standard for the tournament, set in 1984 by Peter Jacobsen.

Levi, the first-round leader who held second after Friday's round, shot a 68 yesterday for 200. West German Bernhard Langer, the 36-hole leader, shot 72 to drop into a tie with Gene Sauers at 202. Sauers had a 68.

Azinger fell from the money-winning lead last week when he missed the cut in the U.S. Open. Open winner Scott Simpson moved into the earnings lead, but is sitting out this tournament.

Rochester (N.Y.) International:

Deb Richard shot a 1-over-par 73, but held a one-stroke lead over Lori Garbacz after three rounds of the $300,000 LPGA tournament.

Richard, who has maintained the lead since the first round, bogeyed the last two holes to finish at 8-under 208 for three rounds.

Laurie Rinker and Patty Sheehan were one stroke behind Garbacz. Richard, a two-year pro seeking her first professional victory, said her rhythm was off because she had to play the final hole of her second round early yesterday because of Friday's rain delays.

Monte Carlo Open:

Peter Senior captured the $320,000 tournament in Monaco, holding off fellow Australian Roger Davis by one stroke with a birdie at the last hole.

Senior, 27, shot a 3-under-par 66 over the 5,667-yard Mont Agel course and finished with 260, 14 under par. Davis, whose 7-under-par 62 final round forced Senior into last-hole heroics, finished at 261.

Defending champion Severiano Ballesteros shot 65 -- 267 for a share of fourth place, his worst finish in six events in Europe this year.


Billy Casper shot his second consecutive round of 3-under-par 68, taking a two-stroke lead after two rounds of the $250,000 Greater Grand Rapids (Mich.) Open. Tommy Aaron, who led the first round, shot 73 -- 138, tying him with Dave Hill (69).