Paul Azinger, bidding for his first victory since the 1993 PGA Championship, shot a 2-under 68 yesterday and held a five-stroke lead over Jesper Parnevik and Stuart Appleby after three rounds of the $2.9 million Sony Open in Honolulu.
Azinger had lymphoma diagnosed in December 1993 and missed most of the next season.
"The fact that I'm five ahead is an enviable spot, but it doesn't mean it is insurmountable," he said. "I know what it takes. I've done it a bunch of times. There's a bunch of young lions behind me and they are not just going to let me win."
Azinger, a three-time runner-up who had five other top-10 finishes when this tournament was known as the Hawaiian Open, bogeyed two of the first four holes. His slip allowed John Huston to narrow the margin to two strokes through the first seven holes.
But Azinger ran off birdies on the par-3 eighth and 11th, as well as the 510-yard 10th, to stay ahead of the field. At the 54-hole mark, he was at 14-under 196.
Parnevik, who started the day seven strokes behind Azinger, closed with birdies on the last two holes for a 4-under 66. He's at 201 with Appleby, who shot a 68.
Appleby, who started the day sharing second with Huston and Jim Furyk, birdied the final two holes.
Huston, meantime, faded to finish with a 70. He is tied with Jerry Kelly, who carded a 71, at 203.
LPGA: Defending champion Karrie Webb shot a 2-under-par 70 and opened a seven-stroke lead after three rounds at the Office Depot, the opening event of the LPGA's 50th season, in West Palm Beach, Fla.
Se Ri Pak, the LPGA's rookie of the year in 1998, failed to sign her scorecard and was disqualified after shooting a 79 for 237.
Webb made four birdies and two bogeys on the 6,323-yard Legend course at Ibis Country Club for a 6-under-par 210 total. Nancy Lopez--who shot 73 Friday to move into second, three behind Webb--shot a 74 and was tied for second at 217 with Cindy McCurdy, who matched par at 72.
EUROPEAN PGA: After rain disrupted play for the third consecutive day in Johannesburg, the Dunhill Championship was shortened to 54 holes. The second round was completed early yesterday, but rain caused a 40-minute stoppage in the morning, then play was abandoned because the course was waterlogged.
The second-round leader was Namibia's Trevor Dodds, at 10-under 134. Tied for second two shots back were Scotland's Gary Orr and England's Anthony Wall. Those three had played only their tee shots on the first hole of the third round, but some players had played as many as six holes of what will be their final rounds.