PITTSBURGH — Bernhard Langer spent 45 anxious minutes Friday night wondering if the driver he has used the past two years would be healthy enough to make it to work Saturday.
Fortunately for him, a Champions Tour club technician was able to find a replacement screw for the one that busted inside the clubhead at the end of Langer's second round at the Senior Players Championship.
The "gamer" back in his ever steady hands, Langer moved closer to his third major title on the 50-and-over circuit, overcoming a slow start to shoot 4-under 66 in the third round and stay in front of hard-charging Kenny Perry at Fox Chapel.
"There's always slight doubts," Langer said. "You're putting something together. They say it's the same, but you're never sure it's the same. … I was convinced it was very close to the same. You don't want it to get into your head."
It hardly looked like Langer was bothered while moving to 15-under 195 through 54 holes at an event where he has five top-10 finishes but no victories. The two-time Masters champion hit 10 of 14 fairways and shot 4-under 31 on the back nine to regain control in the senior major after briefly losing the lead to Perry.
Perry, trying to join Arnold Palmer as the only players to win the Senior Players in consecutive years, was three behind after a 65 that he allowed could have been even better. Still, the deficit is hardly daunting for Perry, who trailed Fred Couples by two heading into the final round last June only to emerge with the first major of his professional career.
"Hopefully, the results will be the same," Perry said, laughing.
Russ Cochran, Joe Durant and Bill Glasson were four back. Cochran had 63, the low round of the day. Durant shot 67 and Glasson 68.
PGA: Patrick Reed is not interested in talking about being top-five in the world. He only cares about tour victory No. 4.
Reed, who turned off some of his peers when he won at Doral and said he was among the top five players in the world, held it together at steamy Congressional for par 71 to build a two-shot lead in the Quicken Loans National in Bethesda, Md.
As if Congressional weren't difficult enough, the rest of the field now has to chase a guy who has won all three previous events when he had at least a share of the lead going into the final round.
On a day when making pars often meant moving forward, Reed overcame three bogeys in a seven-hole stretch by playing the last five holes at 1 under for 6-under 207 overall and a two-shot margin over Seung-yul Noh, Freddie Jacobson and Marc Leishman.
"You can't get ahead of yourself," Reed said. "If you think about having the lead or if you think about what you're going to do coming down 18, you're going to lose focus on the rest of the holes."
LPGA: Michelle Wie shot her second straight 5-under 66 to take a two-shot lead in the suspended second round of the NW Arkansas Championship in Rogers. Coming off a victory in last week's U.S. Women's Open at Pinehurst, Wie had six birdies and bogey in her morning round at Pinnacle Country Club. So Yeon Ryu, paired with Wie, was second after her second straight 67. Seventy-two players were unable to finish because of afternoon thunderstorms.