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Archive for Sunday, January 26, 2003

Frazar holds Phoenix lead for third straight round

January 26, 2003

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— For someone who has spent his career chasing big-name players, Harrison Frazar knows how to play in front.

Frazar separated himself from his challengers with a birdie on the 17th hole Saturday and took a one-stroke lead into the final round of the Phoenix Open.

"I can't get too far ahead of myself," said Frazar, who has led from the start. "The names on the leaderboard behind me are pretty stout, so you know they're going to be coming after me."

Frazar weathered a dry spell on the back nine that dropped him into a four-way tie at one point. But none of his nearest pursuers could match him down the stretch.

The 31-year-old Texan finished with a 4-under-par 67 for a 54-hole score of 17-under 196.

John Huston and Tim Petrovic, Frazar's co-leader at the midpoint, were next -- Huston after a 66 and Petrovic after a 68.

Huston caught up on the 14th hole, but lost his birdie touch there; Petrovic blew his chance to share the lead when he missed the fairway on the 18th hole for the third straight time, leading to a par.

"I got up and down most of the time and made a couple of big putts on the back nine just to keep me in the tournament, so I'm pretty happy with that," Petrovic said.

Both Vijay Singh, the 1995 Phoenix champion, and Retief Goosen shot 65s to pull into a three-way tie at 198 with Kirk Triplett. He had a 63.

David Toms (63), Robert Gamez (64), Steve Stricker (68) and Scott McCarron (68) were three shots off the lead.

Defending champion Chris DiMarco, third last week in Honolulu, headed the group at 200.

His 62 matched Frazar's opening round and Stricker's second-round performance for lowest score of the tournament. DiMarco set a nine-hole record for the TPC of Scottsdale -- 7-under 28 on the front side.

"One day somebody will go real low, and there'll be somebody different the next day," Huston said. "You just have to stay close enough to the lead to where you can shoot good tomorrow and win."

Also at 200 were three-time winner Mark Calcavecchia, who set a then-PGA record by winning at 28-under 256 in 2001, Joe Durant and Chad Campbell.

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