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Dufner has a chance at history

ASSOCIATED PRESS

FORT WORTH, Texas -- Jason Dufner and Zach Johnson have set up what will basically be a match-play final round for the winner's plaid jacket at the Colonial today (3 p.m., Ch. 4).

It will be Dufner, whose only two PGA Tour victories came in the last four weeks, against the 2007 Masters champion who got the last of his seven wins two years ago at Hogan's Alley.

"It seems like one of us is either going to win or finish second," Dufner said after his 4-under 66 in the third round Saturday.

After two bogeys the previous three holes, Dufner matched playing partner Johnson's birdie putt on the 17th hole and overcame a wayward final tee shot to save par and keep the lead.

Dufner's 15-under 195 total put him a stroke ahead of Johnson, who shot 65. Tom Gillis was a distant third at 7 under after a 69.

"I really wasn't aware of (the separation) until I looked at the board on 13. It was more than I anticipated," Johnson said. "It seemed like I didn't hear too many roars in front of us, so that's a telling sign. I still have 18 holes and that's my focus. I totally anticipate Dufner to keep doing what he's doing. There's not a whole lot going on that's wrong."

Dufner, the winner last week in the Byron Nelson Championship about 30 miles away, is trying to win for the third time in his last four starts. He also is trying to do something only Ben Hogan has done.

Hogan, Dufner's hero, is the only player to win both PGA Tour events in the Dallas-Fort Worth area in the same year. When he did it in 1946, they weren't played in consecutive weeks.

The last player to win in consecutive weeks on the PGA Tour was Tiger Woods in 2009. Nobody won more than two tournaments last season.

Like Johnson, who wore a plaid-collared shirt Saturday, the first time Dufner realized the gap from everyone else had widened was when he saw that scoreboard at the 156-yard 13th hole. And he had a three-stroke lead then.

"From that point on I kind of knew that we are going to be battling it out in kind of a unique situation," Dufner said. "The leader boards here most of the year have been pretty packed and you got a lot of guys having a chance to win the title the last nine holes."

Dufner avoided a playoff at the Nelson with a 25-foot birdie on the 72nd hole. He has led or shared the lead after 12 of his last 35 rounds, including five of the last seven.

Before winning at New Orleans on April 29, the 35-year-old Dufner was winless in his previous 163 PGA Tour starts. He then took a week off to get married and returned to play at The Players Championship before winning the Nelson.

Bo Van Pelt had his streak of 13 consecutive sub-par rounds at Hogan's Alley end with a 71. But he was fourth at 204, one ahead of John Huh and Ryan Palmer.

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Chapman pulls away

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. -- Roger Chapman arrived at Harbor Shores this week a virtual unknown.

The highlight of his career was probably a victory in Brazil -- a dozen years ago. Even overseas, Chapman is hardly a star. The Englishman plays on the European Senior Tour, which has held only one tournament this year and is pressed for sponsors.

Now Chapman is one round from a surprising victory at the Senior PGA Championship. After shooting a 7-under 64 on Saturday, he's not only leading, he's threatening to rout the rest of the field. Chapman leads John Cook by five strokes heading into to what could be a sweltering finish today.

"Hopefully, if all goes well [today], maybe we can attract a few more sponsors and hopefully get our purses up," Chapman said about today's final round (3 p.m., Ch. 2).

Chapman finished the day at 14-under par. Cook began the round tied with Chapman for the lead, but couldn't keep pace and settled for a 69 to drop into second place.

"It felt like I shot a hundred compared to Roger," Cook said. "He played phenomenal. He had it. It was a pleasure to watch."