Tiger Woods was a happy man after yesterday's third round of the Western Open in Lemont, Ill., yet his enjoyment was tempered by a near tragedy.
Woods birdied three holes on the back nine and made a 20-foot uphill putt to save par on the 18th for a 4-under 68 and a commanding four-stroke lead, but the round was overshadowed when caddie Garland Dempsey collapsed on the course and had to be rushed to the hospital in an ambulance.
"That was unfortunate, very unfortunate," Woods said. "Hopefully he's okay. He's one of the best guys out there. He's such a great guy."
Dempsey, John Maginnes' caddie, was in critical but stable condition after he collapsed and his heart stopped as he walked down the 15th fairway. Maginnes and Matt Moore, a spotter for ABC, performed CPR until paramedics arrived. Paramedics had to use a defibrillator to get his pulse back.
It's not clear why Dempsey, 51, collapsed.
Maginnes finished his round, looking dazed and shaken. He gave the crowd a weak smile as he walked off the 18th green and then went to the hospital. "My concern is for Garland right now," Maginnes said in a statement. "I had a hard time concentrating on the last few holes, but golf is not as important right now."
Maginnes is expected to play today, though he and everyone else might be competing for second place. When Woods has a lead, he is practically unstoppable. Of the seven tournaments he has led going into the final round, he has lost only one.
"I'll just play the game the way I have been," said Woods, who is at 14-under 202. "Just keep hitting a lot of fairways and if I'm there, if I have a good number and a good situation, then I'll attack. If not, I'll just play safe and try to make a par."
Stuart Appleby, who started the day sharing the lead with Woods, bogeyed four holes and finished with an even-par 72 to put him four strokes back at 206. Mike Weir, who shot a 5-under 67, and first-round leader Mike Brisky also were at 206.
"Tiger's pulling away a little bit," Brisky said. "But hopefully I can get something going tomorrow and who knows."
LPGA: Se Ri Pak, relying on lingering good feelings from last year's record-setting victory, shot a 68 to join Shani Waugh and Jenny Lidback atop a crowded leader board through three rounds of the Jamie Farr Classic in Sylvania, Ohio.
"It will make for an exciting day," Pak said. "You know every shot you have to hit closely and must make the putt. Very exciting."
Five players were a shot back at 7-under 206, including Karrie Webb, seeking her sixth LPGA victory of the year, and Mardi Lunn, who led after each of the first two rounds. Fifteen players were within three shots of the lead.
It was a dramatic contrast to a year ago, when Pak shot consecutive rounds of 61, a tour record, and 63 to build a nine-stroke lead heading into the last round. Her closing 66 gave her a 261 total, the lowest 72-hole score in tour history.
After an 83-minute suspension of play because of lightning and rain, Pak stepped to her drive in the 16th fairway and promptly hit a wedge seven feet from the pin. She rolled in the birdie putt to pull even with Lunn, then took sole possession of the lead when Lunn bogeyed the 14th hole moments later.
VIRGINIA AMATEUR: Steve Marino of Fairfax won the Virginia State Golf Association amateur championship in Lynchburg, earning a 5-and-4 victory over two-time former winner Keith Decker of Fieldale. Marino, 19, a University of Virginia sophomore, took a 3-up lead at the end of the first 18 holes of the final and eagled the 19th to go 4 up.