Corey Pavin takes one-shot lead into Allianz final round

By Craig Dolch
Published on

BOCA RATON, Fla. (AP) — Corey Pavin birdied his last hole Saturday to shoot a 4-under 68 and take a one-shot lead over close friend Tom Lehman into the final round of the Allianz Championship.

Pavin made a 6-foot birdie putt on the final hole for a 68 that has him at 10-under 134 after two trips around The Old Course at Broken Sound Club. Pavin also made a pair of key par saves at the 15th and 16th holes to keep his round together.

Lehman also birdied the par-5 closing hole for a 68.

The men have a close enough relationship that Pavin asked Lehman and his wife, Melissa, to be godparents of his daughter, Alexis. They also served as assistant captains for each other in the Ryder Cup.

"Playing golf with a friend like Tom is always a lot of fun," said Pavin, who playfully kept tossing water on Lehman's shoes during a TV interview. "But we are both going to try and beat each other's brains out."

Joe Durant shot a bogey-free 66 and is tied for third with Jeff Sluman at 8-under 136.

Doug Garwood, who started on the back nine, made a run at a 59 but finished bogey-double, bogey for a 65. He was 10 under through 14 holes.

Pavin has won just once in 111 starts on the PGA Tour Champions, but that victory came here at the 2012 Allianz. Pavin hit a memorable shot left-handed out of a hole to save par at the 14th.

"It always helps to play at a course where you have won in the past," said Pavin, who won 15 PGA Tour titles. "That was a special win."

Lehman, too, has the confidence of knowing he won the 2011 Allianz Championship, but realizes it will be challenge against Pavin.

"He's such a wonderful guy," Lehman said. "It's fun to play with him because he's such a competitor, such a grinder. That kind of hides the fact he's such a talented, fearless golfer."

The weather was warm and sunny Saturday, but the conditions for the final round are expected to be colder and windy - similar to Friday's round.

"You're going to have hit the ball on the center of the clubface and you've got to be patient," Sluman said. "You know there's going to be some goofy shots."

Garwood went to college at Fresno State with Kevin Sutherland, the only player to shoot 59 on the Champions tour.

"When I was 10-under, I was thinking, `Wow, if I birdie out, I shoot 58," Garwood said. "That was probably my downfall."

Garwood is tied for fifth with Lee Janzen (68), Billy Andrade (70), John Huston (69) and Scott Parel (67) at 7-under 137.

Defending champion Paul Goydos (68) is among eight players tied for 10th at 6-under 138.

This article was written by Craig Dolch from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.