Hot O'Meara shoots 68, leads Pebble Beach by 2


PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. -- Mark O'Meara shot a third-round 68 yesterday to take a two-stroke lead into today's final 18 holes of the AT&T; Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.

"I'll just count my blessings and hope it keeps going," O'Meara said after completing a rotation of one round on each of three Monterey Peninsula courses in 11-under 205.

O'Meara was two strokes clear of Jeff Sluman, with Raymond Floyd and Paul Azinger among five players standing three shots off the pace.

U.S. Open champion Payne Stewart, Australian Steve Elkington and Fuzzy Zoeller were in a group another shot back. Fred Funk of Laurel posted a 5-under 67 and is at 213.

Sluman was one of many almost ready to concede the tournament to O'Meara, currently the PGA's hottest player and a three-time winner at Pebble Beach.

"I can't possibly -- in my wildest dreams -- see Mark shooting over par tomorrow," Sluman said. "He's won this three times. It's like an annuity tournament for him. Nobody in the world wants to spot Mark two shots on Pebble and go out and play one round."

In 16 competitive rounds this year, O'Meara has had only one score as high as par.

LPGA Oldsmobile Classic

LAKE WORTH, Fla. -- Canadian Dawn Coe, hoping for her first victory on the LPGA Tour, held a three-way share of first place after the third round.

Coe, a non-winner in her nine-year career, shot a 3-under 69 for a 54-hole total of 7-under 209. The British Columbia native is tied with recent Hall of Fame inductee Pat Bradley and Swedish rookie Helen Alfredsson, both of whom shot 72.

Kim Williams of Potomac had 71 for 147, and was the only Maryland player to make the cut. Tina Barrett of Baltimore shot 73-75148, missing the cut by a stroke, and former Kensington resident Michelle Mackall had 75-76-151.

Senior Royal Caribbean Classic

KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. -- Gary Player shot a 7-under-par 64 to take a four-stroke lead after two rounds.

Player, the defending champion, had a 36-hole total of 8-under 134 going into today's final round at the Links on Key Biscayne.

The $500,000 tournament is the year's first full-field event on the Senior Tour.

Tied for second place at 4-under 138 were Chi Chi Rodriguez, who shot a 67; and Dick Hendrickson, who had a 68. Mike Hill was fourth at 3-under after shooting a 67.

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