John Daly relied on the long ball to get back into contention, then to take the lead away from Colin Montgomerie yesterday at the American Express Championship in San Francisco.

Daly hit a 378-yard drive that set up an eagle on the par-5 10th, ripped a 292-yard drive into a stiff wind for a chip-and-putt birdie on the par-4 16th, and finished his turbulent day at Harding Park with a 3-under-par 67 for a one-shot lead over Montgomerie.

Tiger Woods somehow finished two shots behind.

His scorecard showed a 68, but didn't include sketches of where some of his shots landed -- one of them under a sport-utility vehicle parked in the woods, another that went off the cart path, over a 25-foot hospitality tent and was headed for the parking lot until it grazed someone's leg and stopped on the stairs.

Then there was Graeme McDowell, who was tied for the lead until he hit into the cypress trees along the wicked 18th hole and made quadruple bogey.

"Golf is a cruel game," McDowell said.

This test at San Francisco's municipal gem was simply riveting, and the best might be still to come.

Daly, who started with a bogey and a double bogey on his first three holes, was at 9-under 201 and poised to capture his first victory in 19 months.

"It's a lot of fun, but it's stressful," Daly said. "It's great to be in this position, but it's not the easiest thing to do."

Montgomerie, who only last week ended his 19-month victory drought, closed with 10 straight pars for a 69 and was at 202, giving him another tee time with Daly today. They will be joined by Sergio Garcia, who shot a 67 to join Woods at 203. . . .

Dana Quigley shot a season-best 8-under 64 to take a one-stroke lead over Loren Roberts at the Greater Hickory Classic in Conover, N.C.

The 58-year-old Quigley, a two-time winner this year who leads the Champions Tour money list with $1,812,298, had a 12-under 132 total on the Rock Barn Golf & Spa's Jones Course. Roberts, the Tradition winner in August, had a 65.

"It should be a good shootout tomorrow," Quigley said. "The conditions were good today. The greens were really soft, which plays into my game. I'll see how the greens are holding up the first few holes [Sunday], and go from there."

Jay Haas (67), Jim Ahern (66) and Tom McKnight (68) were 9 under, and Brad Bryant (67) and Lonnie Nielsen (70) were another stroke back. . . .

Chile's Nicole Perrot moved into position for her first LPGA Tour victory, shooting a 7-under 64 to take a three-stroke lead after the third round of the Longs Drugs Challenge in Auburn, Calif.

* BASEBALL: Members of the Oakland Athletics coaching staff have yet to be called in for interviews for the team's managerial vacancy.

Third base coach Ron Washington has an interview scheduled Tuesday with the Florida Marlins for their manager job, open since popular skipper Jack McKeon stepped down after a disappointing season.

Washington also expects to be a candidate for the job vacated by Lou Piniella in Tampa Bay once the Devil Rays hire a general manager. Washington said yesterday that Athletics General Manager Billy Beane vowed at the end of the season to interview the Oakland staff if things didn't work out with third-year manager Ken Macha.

The Athletics and Macha parted ways Wednesday after failing to come to terms on a new contract, and Macha campaigned for his coaches to be considered for the promotion. That's how Macha got the job, elevated from bench coach after Art Howe left for the New York Mets following the 2002 season.

Athletics bullpen coach Bob Geren also is considered a leading candidate to replace Macha.

* PRO FOOTBALL: Pittsburgh Steelers backup quarterback Tommy Maddox strained his right calf in practice and is doubtful for tomorrow night's game at San Diego.

The injury means Charlie Batch, who has played in only three games over the past four years, is expected to be Ben Roethlisberger's backup for the first of the Steelers' three Monday night games.

* HOCKEY: The Phoenix Coyotes acquired forwards Geoff Sanderson and Tim Jackman from the Columbus Blue Jackets for forwards Mike Rupp and Jason Chimera and defenseman Cale Hulse. . . .

The Detroit Red Wings re-signed Jason Woolley to a one-year contract, adding a solid veteran to bolster a defense that is without Niklas Kronwall.

* FIGURE SKATING: Five-time world champion Michelle Kwan's quest for the Olympic gold medal that has eluded her at two Winter Games has suffered a potentially major setback.

Kwan, winner of a record nine U.S. championships, strained a ligament in her right hip and faces rehabilitation that could take a month.

The injury will keep her out of the Olympic season's first major competition, the Skate America ISU Grand Prix event, which starts Oct. 20 in Atlantic City.

* SPEEDSKATING: Apolo Ohno was disqualified for the second time in as many days at the South Korean World Cup in Seoul.

Ohno, the 2002 Olympic gold medalist, was called for impeding halfway through a 500-meter quarterfinal. The American was eliminated from the 1,500 meters Friday for shoving South Korean Lee Ho Suk.

-- From News Services

John Daly chips up to the green at No. 16 during the third round of the American Express Championship. He had a 378-yard drive on one hole.