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Els extends his hot streak

Ernie Els hits from the sand on the par-4 18th on his way to par and a one-shot lead at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

Associated Press

Ernie Els hits from the sand on the par-4 18th on his way to par and a one-shot lead at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

ORLANDO — Ernie Els is trying to keep his head clear and his game simple.

It seems to be working.

Els finished with two tough pars Saturday at Bay Hill, enough to go from a two-shot deficit to a one-shot lead over Ben Curtis going into the final round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational and to give him a chance to win his second straight tournament.

"There's a lot of work left," Els said after 3-under 69 made him the only player to break 70 all three days. "Obviously, I'm still in a very good position. I would have taken it before the tournament started. I would like to keep working and just try and concentrate on playing good golf (today)."

Saturday was the fifth time in the past six rounds Els was atop the leaderboard, dating to his victory at Doral two weeks ago that ended the longest drought of his career, two years without a win.

Els was at 10-under 206, giving himself a chance for back-to-back wins on the PGA Tour for the first time in seven years and to become the first player since Tiger Woods in 2001 to win twice in the Florida swing.

Els and Curtis are in the final group today with Chris Couch (69), who was at 7-under 209.

Davis Love started the third round in a four-way tie for the lead, needing a victory to get into the Masters. He had 74, leaving him an outside chance from five shots off the lead.

Arnie wants Tiger to open up: Arnold Palmer took to the TV airwaves to deliver a message to Tiger Woods as Woods prepares to make his return in two weeks at the Masters. "My advice would be to open up to the media," Palmer said during NBC's broadcast of his tournament. "To bring them in and talk to them, and talk to them like a man. That's the only way you're going to accomplish what he wants to accomplish right now."

LPGA: Hee Kyung Seo shot 3-under 69 to widen her lead to five strokes after three rounds of the inaugural Kia Classic at Carlsbard, Calif. Seo, a South Korean who is not a tour member, was at 10-under 206. She received one of the three sponsor's exemptions for the tournament. Taiwan's Candie Kung (69) was second. Michelle Wie shot 1-over 73 and was tied with China's Shanshan Feng for third, six back. Tampa resident Kristy McPherson (72) was at 2-over 218.

Champions: Corey Pavin shot a course-record 9-under 63 to take the lead at 13-under 131 after two rounds at the Cap Cana Championship in the Dominican Republic. He broke Bernhard Langer's 2009 record of 64 at Punta Espada Golf Club to take a one-shot lead over Nick Price (66).

Els extends his hot streak 03/27/10 [Last modified: Sunday, March 28, 2010 12:48am]
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