The United States, the top-seeded team in the Dunhill Cup, was eliminated yesterday as South Africa, Spain, Australia and Sweden advanced to the semifinals with third-round victories in St. Andrews, Scotland.

The Americans, roundly criticized for their post-victory behavior two weeks ago in the Ryder Cup, were beaten by Sweden, 2-1. The U.S. trio of Mark O'Meara, Tom Lehman and Payne Stewart finished three rounds with a 3-6 record.

Today, when both the semifinals and finals will be played, South Africa will meet Spain, which it beat for the title last year. Australia will take on Sweden.

Sweden, which won the event in 1991, got through as little-known Gabriel Hjertstedt beat Stewart, 69-74, and Jarmo Sandelin won over Lehman, 71-74. O'Meara beat Patrick Sjoland, 69-73.

Spain rallied with comeback victories by Sergio Garcia and Miguel Angel Jimenez to beat Ireland, 2-1. South Africa, ahead from the start, defeated England, 3-0. Australia took Scotland, 2-1.

Garcia rallied to beat Ryder Cup teammate Darren Clarke, 67-68, Ireland's Paul McGinley defeated two-time Masters champion Jose Maria Olazabal, 68-70, and Jimenez topped Ryder Cup foursomes partner Padraig Harrington on the first playoff hole with a 12-foot birdie putt after they shot 69 in regulation.

PGA: Mike Weir bounced back from finishing the front nine with two bogeys by making birdies on five of the first six holes of the back side in a 3-under 68 that gave him a one-shot lead after three rounds of the Michelob Championship in Williamsburg.

Notah Begay III shot a 69 and was tied for second with second-round leader Tom Byrum, who had three birdies and two bogeys in an uneventful 70.

"This is awesome," said the left-handed Weir, who six weeks ago won for the first time with a closing 64 in the Air Canada Championship. "I love being in this position. I worked very hard for seven years to be in this position."

Weir also can feel good about his play on the back nine. After shooting a 3-over 38 there the first day, he had a 29 Friday and a 31 yesterday. Overall, he's 10 under on the nine the last two rounds, but 1 over on the par-36 front side.

SENIORS: Bruce Fleisher and Allen Doyle are surprising everybody but themselves this year.

Fleisher had a second straight 6-under 66 in the Transamerica to take a two-stroke lead over Doyle, who shot the day's best round, a 65, in Napa, Calif.

Fleisher's two-day total of 132 is a tournament record for 36 holes.

Fleisher was the U.S. Amateur champion in 1968 and won only once on the regular tour, in 1991. He's seeking his sixth victory in his first year on the Senior PGA Tour.

Doyle never won a regular tour title, choosing to serve his ROTC commitment out of college, then working in the textile industry. He's going after the fifth win of his rookie year.

"I'm sure a lot of guys are surprised to see me this high on the money list," Doyle said.

LPGA: Hall of Famer Beth Daniel shot a 2-under 70 and took sole possession of the lead after three rounds of the Betsy King Classic in Kutztown, Pa.

Daniel, seeking her 33rd career win and first since the 1995 Ping Welch's of Boston, was at 7-under 209 after three trips around the 6,085-yard Berkleigh Country Club course. She had three birdies and one bogey but said she is surprised to have the one-stroke lead.

"It's still anybody's game," Daniel said. "One stroke isn't much of a lead."