Price 3 strokes ahead of three others

Updated: April 18, 2009, 8:01 PM ET
Associated Press

LUTZ, Fla. -- Nick Price moved into position for his first Champions Tour victory, shooting a 4-under 67 on Saturday to take a three-stroke lead into the final round of the Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am.

The 52-year-old Price, a three-time major champion and 18-time winner on the PGA Tour, had a 9-under 133 total at TPC Tampa Bay. He birdied two of the last three holes.

Outback Pro-Am

Price 1. Price (-9)
T-2. Nelson (-6)
T-2. Haas (-6)
T-2. McCullough (-6)
5. Nielsen (-5)
• Complete scores

"I'm not tired [of people wondering why I haven't won on Champions]," said Price, making his 39th career start on the 50-and-over tour. "You know, my game hasn't been in good shape. I mean, I want to win out here. Mark O'Meara and I came out the same time and neither of us -- we've both had a few close shaves, but we haven't won."

Price, from Zimbabwe, has taken the lead into the final round of three other Champions Tour events, but failed to hold on.

First-round leader Larry Nelson (71) was 6 under along with Jay Haas (68) and Mike McCullough (69). Lonnie Nielsen (69) was 5 under, followed by Hal Sutton (64) at 4 under. Haas is winless on Florida, going 0-for-113 -- including 0-for-11 on the Champions Tour.

Nelson took a one-stroke lead when he eagled the 14th hole with a long putt, but bogeyed the final two holes.

"I left it short of the green [on No. 18] and hit a bad chip [by blading it] and didn't get it up and down," Nelson said. "I probably had the wrong club choice on 18. I'm happy though and I think I have a chance to win on Sunday and to be one, two shots, even, back, or [keep up with] whatever Nick does coming in."

Two-time defending champion Tom Watson followed his opening 71 with a 74 to finish at 3 over. He's making his third start since having hip replacement surgery.


Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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