Sherri Steinhauer tied a course record with a 30 on the front nine, then scrambled in for a 5-under-par 66 and a two-shot lead after three rounds of the Big Apple Classic in New Rochelle, N.Y.

Steinhauer's 11-under total of 202 led Lorie Kane by two strokes and Juli Inkster by four. Tina Barrett and Karrie Webb were at 6-under 207.

Most of the players spent the round beneath sun umbrellas when they were not playing. Temperatures were in the mid-nineties yesterday and the heat index was more than 100.

But no players gave up because of the heat, unlike Friday, when both Mi Hyun Kim and Caroline Gowan quit their rounds because of heat exhaustion.

Steinhauer's 30 matched the record for the best nine at the Wykagyl Country Club. It is shared by Colleen Walker (1991), Inkster (1992) and Annika Sorenstam (1997).

Steinhauer birdied the first, fifth, seventh, eighth and ninth holes with putts of 12 feet or shorter. She also made a 25-footer for birdie at the 12th.

"I was really comfortable. My swing felt really good," Steinhauer said. "I was really focused in on the target."

Se Ri Pak, who led by a stroke after each of the first two rounds, shot a 6-over 77 with five bogeys on her last six holes and was at 1-under 212 after three rounds.

SENIORS: Raymond Floyd birdied three holes in a row on the back nine on his way to a 5-under 67 and a share of the lead after two rounds at the Ameritech Senior Open in Long Grove, Ill.

Floyd and Fred Gibson, who went to qualifying school to get on the Senior PGA Tour, are tied at 7-under 137 in the $1.3 million tournament at Kemper Lakes. Gibson also shot a 67, notching five birdies on the back nine and seven overall.

Defending champion Hale Irwin made up for his lackluster first round, getting birdies on five of the first nine holes and closing his round with another for a 6-under 66, leaving him two strokes off the lead.

VIRGINIA STATE OPEN: The rest of the field is going to have to have some help if anyone is to catch Faber Jamerson, who held a six-shot lead after three rounds in Williamsburg.

"He's gonna have to help us, or we're not going to win," said Pat Tallent, Jamerson's closest challenger. The 1998 state amateur champion from Vienna had a respectable 3-under-par 213, but was still six strokes behind Jamerson, who shot a 1-over 73.