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Sunday, July 15, 2012 - Page updated at 07:30 p.m.
Bernhard Langer's 64 puts him in charge at Sr. Open
By The Associated Press
LAKE ORION, Mich. — Seattle native Fred Couples joked that someone will have to close with a 60 to catch Bernhard Langer at the U.S. Senior Open.
That might not be low enough.
Langer shot a 6-under 64 on Saturday to move to 10 under for the tournament, putting him ahead of a big-name field by four strokes.
"That's not a huge lead," he insisted. "That can disappear in no time. I'm going to have to get out there and shoot under par. That's my goal.
"If I go 2 under or 3 under, it will be very difficult for anyone to catch me. And if they do, they deserve to win."
The two-time Masters champion opened with three straight birdies and eight in 12 holes at Indianwood, a course with tight and unforgiving fairways and undulating greens.
"He didn't win two Masters by luck," said Corey Pavin, who was in a five-way tie for second place. "He's an exceptionally good player, very methodical."
Langer didn't miss a green in regulation during the third round until the par-3 No. 13, where a double bogey cut his cushion to three shots. He made a birdie at 15 before giving that stroke back with a bogey at 18.
Pavin, Tom Lehman, Roger Chapman, John Huston and Tom Pernice Jr. were at 6-under 204.
Couples surged up the leaderboard with a 65 after starting the day tied for 25th place. He was part of a pack — along with Fred Funk and Jay Haas — that was five shots back in a tie for seventh at the Champion Tour's fourth of five majors.
While Langer was in his sensational stretch Saturday, first-round leader Tom Kite and second-round leader Lance Ten Broeck were struggling in the final group.
Kite finished with a 74 to drop into a tie for 17th.
Ten Broeck, a full-time caddie for Tim Herron and occasional player, shot a 72 with three birdies and five bogeys. He is alone in 11th place, six shots back.
Pullman High School graduate Kirk Triplett (72) was tied for 19th.
Michael Putnam of University Place shot an 8-under 63 to take a four-shot lead entering the final round of the Utah Championship, a web.com (formerly Nationwide) Tour event.
Putnam had eight birides and no bogeys. He made five straight birdies beginning on the 11th hole, then birdied the last hole to cap the lowest score of the day. He was at 17-under 196.
Andres Gonzales (69) from Olympia was tied for third at 12 under.
• Troy Matteson shot a 5-under 66 to take a three-shot lead into the final round at the John Deere Classic in Silvis, Ill.
Steve Stricker (66) was in second at 15 under in his quest for a fourth straight John Deere title.
Ryan Moore of Puyallup (66) was tied for 13th at 11 under. Kyle Stanley of Gig Harbor (69) was tied for 41st at 7 under.
• Francesco Molinari shot a bogey-free 5-under 67 to take a one-stroke lead into the final round of the Scottish Open in Inverness.
Anders Hansen (65) of Denmark was in second. Phil Mickelson had a 65 to join three others trailing by three shots.
• T.J. Vogel, a University of Florida senior, coasted to a 12-and-10 win over Kevin Aylwin in the U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship in Midway, Utah.
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