PGA Minus Wie commotion, Lewis has Deere spotlight

At 15-under, he has a three-stroke advantage after three rounds.
SILVIS, Ill. (AP) -- J.L. Lewis has the lead -- and the attention -- all to himself at the John Deere Classic.
Lewis shot a 2-under 69 Saturday, extending his lead to three strokes at 15-under 198 after three rounds. Hank Kuehne (67), Richard S. Johnson (68) and Craig Bowden (68) are at 12-under 201.
Jeff Brehaut (66) and Robert Damron (69) are at 11-under.
"I don't know if I've ever won from the front on a tour event," said Lewis, who won in a playoff here in 1999 and came from seven shots back to win the 84 Lumber Classic in 2003.
"I don't really consider it a lead because if you go out there and you don't play well, they're going to blow right by you," he added. "I was surprised somebody didn't do it today. I figured I'd have to shoot 3- or 4-under just to stay where I'm at."
Lewis led after the second round, too, but few outside his immediate family probably noticed amid the Michelle Wie mania.
Admiration for teen
The 15-year-old from Hawaii was on the brink of becoming the first woman in 60 years to make a cut on the PGA Tour, but she fell apart in the last four holes and missed by two strokes.
"I thought it was phenomenal," Lewis said. "She's only 15 years old. Where were you guys when you were 15 years old? I was about 5-foot-6 and weighed about 120 pounds. I'm looking at her going, 'Geez, she's great.' I was hoping she'd make the cut."
Instead, Wie was headed to Ohio for the men's U.S. Amateur Public Links next week and attention at the TPC at Deere Run was back on the guys.
Less of a buzz
The crowds looked smaller Saturday, or at least more spread out, and the tournament didn't seem to have quite the same buzz. But the higher scores might have had something to do with it, too.
Lewis got off to a slow start with a bogey on the first hole, and he looked as if he might be in for a long day. His tee shot went into a bunker and then he flew the green, landing 91 feet behind the hole.
He got within 7 feet and had a chance to save par, but his putt ran about a foot long.
But just as he did Friday, Lewis got on a roll after a few holes, getting some help from nice putting. He made a 30-footer for birdie on the par-3 No. 7, and a 41-footer on 15. He also made one from 8 feet on No. 8.
"I didn't make as many short putts as I probably should have, but I felt like I had my game going pretty good," he said. "I struck the ball OK, and I felt like I hit it kind of where I wanted to most of the day."
Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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