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Toms in contention, even after his errors in Friday's 2nd round


PINEHURST, N.C. -- When David Toms left the No. 2 course at Pinehurst Resort and Country Club on Friday night, he figured his chances of winning the 105th U.S. Open had ended after going from the lead to a tie for 17th place by making a double bogey and a triple bogey on his last two holes.

"My reaction was, 'How could I be so stupid to play the bunker shot I did on the last hole [at the par-3 17th] instead of chunking it out, making my bogey and going to the next hole [the par-4 18th],' " Toms recalled yesterday. "I was more mad at myself, not really thinking about where I was in the golf tournament until later."

And what did he see later? "I saw that I was still right there," he said. "I should know better."

Toms, whose biggest victory came when he beat Phil Mickelson in the 2001 PGA Championship at the Atlanta Athletic Club, is still right there, five shots behind defending champion and third-round leader Retief Goosen going into today's final round. Toms is at 2-over-par 212 after an even-par 70 yesterday.

"You know what I think about tonight is that I've got a chance tomorrow," said Toms, 38. "It's going to have to be a good round, but it should be that way. You should never have to back into winning a major championship. You should have to play well to win. That's what I'm going to have to do tomorrow."

Toms also will be thinking about something else, or someone else -- his wife, Sonya, who is scheduled to give birth to their second child by Caesarean section tomorrow.

"I talk with her every day, she's fine, and she's probably ready for me to get home," Toms said. "But I'm ready to get there, too. I just have a little more work to do here."

Toms is carrying a beeper, just as Mickelson did when the Open was played here in 1999 and his wife, Amy, was due with their first child. Amy Mickelson delivered by natural childbirth the day after her husband lost to the late Payne Stewart on the final hole.

Not so easy

Two-time U.S. Open champion Ernie Els, who was expected to be factor in this year's tournament, said after shooting a 2-over 72 yesterday (for a three-round total of 9-over 219) that he needs some time off.

Els said he might not be back until the British Open next month at St. Andrews.

"I need to take stock," said Els, who after shooting a 1-under 35 on the front made double bogeys on the par-5 10th and par-4 13th. "Maybe two weeks is enough, maybe not."

Asked what his problem is, Els said, "I'm just going through golf."

Mickelson rebounds

Mickelson, who was also considered one of the pre-tournament favorites, seemed to pick up where he left off after shooting 7-over 77. Though he didn't get off to a good start, making a triple bogey 8 on the par-5 fourth hole, Mickelson finished with a 2-over 72 and is 11 shots behind Goosen.

Most would think Mickelson, a three-time Open runner-up, has no chance of coming close this year.

"I understand realistically that might be the case, but the way I look at it is Johnny Miller shot 63 in the Open at Oakmont and I'm not going into tomorrow's round as though I don't have a shot," Mickelson said. "I just feel that I can shoot a low score out there, even though I'll have to make some 30- and 40-footers to do so."

Mickelson has never shot better than the 4-under 66 he had in the second round of last year's Open at Shinnecock Hills.

Ace for Jacobsen

Peter Jacobsen's hole-in-one on the par-3 ninth hole helped the Champions Tour player to a round of 1-under 69, making Jacobsen the only player in the field to shoot under par yesterday aside from Goosen.

"It was one of those shots," said Jacobsen, whose 7-iron tee shot bounced once over a bunker in front of the green and went straight in the cup.


At Pinehurst, N.C. Third round, par 70



Retief Goosen 68-70-69-207


Jason Gore 71-67-72-210

Olin Browne 67-71-72-210


Michael Campbell 71-69-71-211

Mark Hensby 71-68-72-211


David Toms 70-72-70-212


Peter Hedblom 77-66-70-213

Tiger Woods 70-71-72-213

Lee Westwood 68-72-73-213

K.J. Choi 69-70-74-213


Peter Jacobsen 72-73-69-214

Arron Oberholser 76-67-71-214

Steve Allan 72-69-73-214

Vijay Singh 70-70-74-214


Tim Clark 76-69-70-215

Corey Pavin 73-72-70-215

Nick Price 72-71-72-215

Rocco Mediate 67-74-74-215

Adam Scott 70-71-74-215

Sergio Garcia 71-69-75-215


Kenny Perry 75-70-71-216

Paul Claxton 72-72-72-216

Luke Donald 69-73-74-216

Keiichiro Fukabori 74-67-75-216

Jim Furyk 71-70-75-216


Justin Leonard 76-71-70-217

John Cook 71-76-70-217

Tim Herron 74-73-70-217

Davis Love III 77-70-70-217

Geoff Ogilvy 72-74-71-217

Shigeki Maruyama 71-74-72-217

Ted Purdy 73-71-73-217

Angel Cabrera 71-73-73-217

Steve Jones 69-74-74-217


Bernhard Langer 74-73-71-218

Bill Glasson 74-73-71-218

Phil Mickelson 69-77-72-218

Ryuji Imada 77-68-73-218

Charles Howell 77-68-73-218

Bob Estes 70-73-75-218


Paul McGinley 76-72-71-219

Ernie Els 71-76-72-219

Colin Montgomerie 72-75-72-219

Rob Rashell 74-72-73-219

John Mallinger 74-72-73-219

Peter Lonard 71-74-74-219

Fred Couples 71-74-74-219


Chad Campbell 77-71-72-220

Graeme McDowell 74-74-72-220

Tom Pernice 74-73-73-220

Stewart Cink 73-74-73-220

Nick Dougherty 72-74-74-220

Ian Poulter 77-69-74-220

Thomas Bjorn 71-74-75-220

Fred Funk 73-71-76-220

Brandt Jobe 68-73-79-220


Thomas Levet 75-73-73-221

a-Matt Every 75-73-73-221

Jonathan Lomas 72-74-75-221

Nick O'Hern 72-71-78-221

Steve Flesch 72-71-78-221

Tommy Armour III 70-72-79-221


Lee Janzen 74-74-74-222

J.P. Hayes 77-71-74-222

D.J. Brigman 74-73-75-222

Jeff Maggert 72-75-75-222

Mike Weir 75-72-75-222

J.J. Henry 73-73-76-222

Stephen Ames 71-75-76-222

Rory Sabbatini 72-74-76-222

Soren Kjeldsen 74-71-77-222

Michael Allen 73-72-77-222

Richard Green 72-72-78-222

Steve Elkington 74-69-79-222


a-Ryan Moore 75-73-75-223

Omar Uresti 75-73-75-223

Craig Barlow 76-71-76-223

John Daly 74-72-77-223


J.L. Lewis 75-73-76-224


Jerry Kelly 76-71-78-225

Bob Tway 71-75-79-225


Chris Nallen 76-72-78-226

Frank Lickliter II 75-73-78-226

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