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EDWARDS IN POSITION TO CAPTURE SECOND TITLE

For a guy who needed the utmost perseverance to get his first PGA Tour victory, Joel Edwards seems downright impatient for No. 2.

Edwards defied chilly, windy conditions to shoot a 7-under-par 65 Saturday, giving him a one-stroke lead after the third round of the Buick Challenge.

"Someone can jump up and get you every week," said Davis Love III, who was one shot back after surrendering the lead going into today's final round (3 p.m., Ch. 7). "It doesn't necessarily have to be Phil Mickelson or David Duval. There's so many great players out here.

"Joel Edwards is a great player. When he gets going, he's as good as anybody."

Problem is, it took the 39-year-old Texan a long time to get going.

This is only the second time Edwards has led a tournament after 54 holes. The first came less than two months ago at the Air Canada Championship near Vancouver, when he pushed a three-stroke advantage to a seven-stroke runaway.

That victory snapped a streak of 315 winless tournaments -- the longest for an inaugural champion in tour history.

Now, just 56 days later, Edwards is in position to win again after the best round of the day at Callaway Gardens gave him an 18-under 198 total.

"It feels about the same," said Edwards, who joined the tour in 1989. "It's a good feeling. It's nerve-racking, but that's part of it. It's what you play for. It's what you practice for. I'm looking forward to tomorrow and seeing how I do."

Love was still on top making the turn, but momentum shifted on the back nine at the two par-5s.

Edwards had an eagle at No. 11, the next-to-easiest hole on the Mountain View course. He skipped his second shot between a couple of bunkers and sank an 18-foot putt.

At 15, Love yanked his tee shot into the woods and bogeyed, while Edwards birdied the same hole for a two-shot swing.

If Edwards can hold off five players within five shots of the lead, he would qualify for the season-ending Tour Championship, which is reserved for the top 30 money winners.

"I'll worry about that tomorrow," Edwards said with a shrug. "If it happens, it happens."

Love struggled a bit on a day when the temperatures never got out of the 50s and the wind gusted as high as 20 mph. After shooting a 62 Friday, he managed a 69 to remain near the top of the leader board.

"You can't make mistakes," Love said. "I hit a couple of bad drives and wound up with bogeys on holes that had been birdies. That's the difference."

Duval, the defending champion, was still in contention with a 204.

Lietzke maintains lead

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Bruce Lietzke played the final six holes in 3 under and shot a 69 to maintain a one-stroke lead over Bob Gilder heading into the final round of the Senior PGA Tour Championship at Gaillardia Country Club.

Lietzke, coming off a course-record 63 on Friday, struggled most of the day as the greens firmed. But birdies on Nos. 14, 16 and 18 kept him ahead of Gilder, who birdied 17 and eagled the par-5 18th to move to 12 under.

"I was a bit disappointed today because I thought the course was still playing easy enough to shoot a 66 or 67," Lietzke said.

Local favorite Gil Morgan shot an even-par 72 to remain at 8 under and is five behind in third.

Tied at 7 under are Tom Kite, Walter Hall, who made four consecutive birdies on Nos. 2-5, and Doug Tewell.

Former Buffalonian Jim Thorpe shot 69 and is at 213, 10 shots behind.

Around the links

Annika Sorenstam and Se Ri Pak remained on course for a final-round showdown, winning quarterfinal matches in the World Ladies Match Play Championship in Japan. Sorenstam, seeking her seventh LPGA Tour victory of the year, beat Scotland's Mhairi McKay, 3 and 1. Pak, a five-time winner this season, defeated Australia's Rachel Teske, 3 and 2. Sorenstam, the Swedish star seeded No. 1 among the 16 LPGA Tour players in the field, advanced to a semifinal match against Canada's Lorie Kane, a 4-and-3 winner over Emilee Klein. Pak, seeded second, will play Taiwan's Huang Yu-chen, who beat Japan's Aki Takamura, 1-up.

U.S. Open champion Retief Goosen shot a 5-under-par 66 to take a two-stroke lead after three rounds of the Madrid Open in Spain. Goosen was at 17-under 196 after his strong round on a warm, windless day. If the South African finishes in the top six, he will claim the No. 1 spot on the European money list. Spain's Diego Borrego (64), England's Steve Webster (68) and Ireland's David Higgins (69) are tied at 198.

Pat Bates, seeking his second straight win, birdied the 18th hole to take a one-shot lead into the final round of the Buy.com Tour Championship in Prattville, Ala. Brian Kamm (71) and Brenden Pappas (70) are tied for second, one stroke back, going into today's final round (2:30 p.m., Empire). Tim Petrovic (71), Rod Pampling (74) and Campbell are two strokes off the lead.

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