Deane Beman shot a 3-under-par 67 yesterday to take a three-shot lead over Arnold Palmer after three rounds of the Senior British Open in Turnberry, Scotland.
The 52-year-old commissioner of the PGA Tour had four birdies on his way to a three-round total of 10-under 200.
South African Harold Henning shot a tournament record 62 in hot, calm conditions but is still nine shots behind Beman.
"I haven't been in this position since 1973 when I won my last tournament on the U.S. tour," said Beman. "I have put in a lot of hard work to reach this stage. I hit thousands of balls and it is now paying off."
Beman, who retired from the U.S. tour 16 years ago, held a one-shot lead over Palmer and Gary Player entering yesterday's round.
Palmer lost ground despite shooting 69; Player fared worse, falling five shots behind Beman after four bogeys on the first nine.
The 62 is the best score at Turnberry but will not count as a course record because the layout is 477 yards shorter than when Greg Norman and Mark Hayes shot 63 during British Open championships.
Buick Open: In Grand Blanc, Mich., Hale Irwin, bidding for his third win in a month, shot a 5-under-par 67 to maintain a one-stroke lead after three rounds.
Irwin, 45, who won the U.S. Open and the Buick Classic within six days in June, was at 17-under 199.
Billy Andrade was one shot back after a 66 and Fuzzy Zoeller was at 201, also with a 66.
Irwin's round included a brilliant birdie after driving behind a tree on the par-5 13th, a 490-yard hole that many eagled. He faded a 1-iron around the tree and onto the green, leaving himself an eight-foot putt.
Irwin, who started the day tied for the lead with Don Pooley, finished with a birdie on the 18th with a 6-iron to within six feet of the pin.
Pooley shot par 72 and dropped into a three-way tie for seventh with Robert Wrenn and Mike Sullivan at 204.
Curtis Cup: In Bernardsville, N.J., the United States won two of three foursomes matches and four of six singles matches to open a 6-3 lead over Britain and Ireland halfway through the most prestigious women's amateur event.
The United States can regain the cup today by winning 3 1/2 of the nine points available in the three foursomes and six singles matches.
"I'm not saying I feel overconfident, but I feel a lot better about the start than two years ago when we dug ourselves a big hole," said Leslie Shannon, the non-playing captain of the U.S. team and a member of the losing teams in 1986 and 1988. "I was very pleased with this morning's results."
U.S. Amateur champion Vicki Goetze and Anne Sander combined for a 4-and-3 win over Helen Dobson and Catriona Lambert; Robin Weiss and Carol Semple Thompson defeated Elaine Farquharson and Helen Wadsworth, 3 and 1.
Katie Peterson, Brandie Burton and Karen Noble, posted singles victories. Weiss also won in singles, 4 and 3, over Linzi Fletcher.
Newport Cup: Lee Trevino dropped a three-foot putt on the final hole for a 7-under-par 65 and took the opening-round lead in the $300,000 seniors tournament in Newport, R.I.
Trevino, who has won six times this year in his first full season on the Senior PGA Tour, birdied six holes in shooting a 30 on the back nine.
Al Kelley, of Eustis, Fla., is one shot back at 66. He had six birdies and no bogeys. Lee Elder, of Washington, D.C., the 1985 champion, had a 69.