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Roberts, Stadler tied for first place



Published: Sat, July 30, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



The two golfers shot 11-under par to share lead at 202.

KETTERING (AP) -- Loren Roberts and Craig Stadler each hit a spectacular iron shot -- and enough other good shots to share the lead through Saturday's third round of the U.S. Senior Open.

Roberts holed a sand wedge from 70 yards on the 10th hole for eagle to take control early in the round.

"As soon as I hit it, I knew it came off dead perfect," Roberts said of his shot.

Stadler finally caught up with a 7-iron out of a bunker at the closing hole that led to a tying birdie.

He had pulled his drive into the bunker left of the fairway on the dogleg par-4, but was able to muscle a shot out of the sand from 153 yards that ended up just 4 feet from the pin. He made the birdie putt to cap a 2-under 69.

"It was not a great lie, not a bad lie, but I caught it perfectly," Stadler said. "I was very fortunate."

Roberts shoots 69

Roberts also shot a 69 to share the top spot at 11-under 202.

"That basically was kind of my whole round," Roberts said of his shot at 10, which he celebrated with a fist pump. "To make an eagle there, it just really kind of put me up there where I felt like I could do something. I got out from behind the 8-ball a little bit there."

The co-leaders were three shots clear of the field, with Raymond Floyd -- winner of the last major event at NCR Country Club, the 1969 PGA Championship -- at 205 along with D.A. Weibring. Floyd turned back the clock with a 69 that included four birdies and two bogeys. Weibring had a 68.

Asked if he felt like it was 1969 all over again, the 62-year-old Floyd said, "No. I don't feel that good."

There were numerous sterling shots and almost as many pratfalls for many of the contenders. None was more dramatic than the disaster Tom Watson had at the sixth green.

Alone in the lead, Watson hit his second shot on the par-5, 549-yard hole through the green and into a back trap. He blasted out to 12 feet and seemed to have a good shot at birdie. But he rolled his birdie putt 2 feet past, then missed the comebacker badly, rolling it some 6 feet past.

He also missed the bogey putt, tapping in for a double-bogey 6 that dropped him two shots back of playing partner Roberts, who made a birdie putt on the same green.

"That puts kind of a roadblock on your game plan when you do something like that," Watson said. "You don't win golf tournaments when you do that."

After starting the day tied for the lead with Stadler and Roberts, Watson sagged to a 73 that left him four shots back at 202 along with Des Smyth, whom Watson beat in a playoff last weekend to win the Senior British Open.

"I had my troubles today," Watson said. "It was just one of those days I played a little sloppy."




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