Jonathan Byrd stayed in the catbird seat in the B.C. Open. Barely.
In Endicott, N.Y., Byrd shot a 4-under-par 68 yesterday to maintain his one-shot lead after three rounds. Byrd, who had never led a tournament after three rounds, was at 16-under 200 but had a flock of challengers in his wake.
Robert Gamez, Ted Purdy, Tommy Tolles, Notah Begay and John Morgan each trailed by one shot. Purdy, Gamez and Tolles each shot 65, Begay had a 66 and Morgan a 68 to finish at 201. Colombian rookie Camilo Villegas, who was alone at 202 after a 67, led another group of 20 players within four strokes of the top.
At first, the day looked like it would belong to the last twosome. Byrd birdied the first three holes and Morgan had two.
"I thought we were going to run away with it," said Byrd, who saved par on the final hole after losing his grip on his drive and sending it hard left into the rough. "We probably jinxed ourselves. We said, 'Let's just keep playing like this and we'll have a match-play match tomorrow.' "
That thought disappeared rather quickly beginning at the par-5 fifth hole. Byrd three-putted for bogey from 17 feet and Morgan assumed the lead at 15 under with a two-putt birdie from 65 feet. It was his fourth straight birdie, and the gallery cheered loudly as he flipped his cap around backward, smiled broadly and headed to the sixth tee.
His jubilation was short-lived, too. Morgan followed with consecutive bogeys to fall back before rallying with two birdies on the back.
* LPGA: Seeking her first victory in 13 years, Michelle Estill shot a 5-under 67 to share the lead with Young-A Yang, a second-year pro chasing her first career win, after a rain-delayed second round of the Giant Eagle LPGA Classic in Vienna, Ohio.
The top 17 money-winners aren't in the field, mostly because they are preparing for the Evian Masters in Paris next week and then staying in Europe for the year's final major, the Women's British Open. Ironically, two of the biggest names missed the cut -- defending champion Rachel Teske and the top money-winner in the field, Pat Hurst at No. 18 on the list.
* VIRGINIA OPEN: Amateurs Ryan Sypniewski and Spence Andrews and former champion Faber Jamerson were tied at 11-under 205 after the third round in Richmond.