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Simpson stays in striking distance

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. — Webb Simpson shot 1-under 69 on Saturday and is tied for third heading into the final round of the McGladrey Classic.

Simpson and world No. 1 Luke Donald are vying for the PGA Tour money title and both have said they will play next week at Disney. Simpson trails Donald by $68,971, but could move into the top spot with a strong round today.

Simpson also is looking for a tour-leading third win this year, which could make him the favorite for PGA Tour player of the year.

Michael Thompson had three early birdies and finished with 67 to move into the lead at Sea Island, one shot better than second-round leader Billy Horschel. Thompson had one of three bogey-free rounds on the day and is 13-under 197.

Trevor Immelman, who has only two top-10 finishes since winning the 2008 Masters, matched the Seaside Course record with 62 and is tied with Simpson at 11 under. Louis Oosthuizen (69), the 2010 British Open champion, Jeff Overton (66), Kris Blanks (66) and Nick O'Hern (69) are tied at 9 under.

Horschel (70) led by as many as three shots and had a one-shot margin when he hit his tee shot at the par-4 16th hole into a lateral hazard. He eventually posted double-bogey.

Thompson made all three of his birdies on the front nine and parred every hole on the back. He had an 8-foot putt for birdie on 18, but the ball caught a piece of the cup and trickled out.

"I thought it was the best putt I hit all day," he said. "Something yanked it left. But I'm very happy. I played bogey-free on Saturday, which is always a good thing no matter where I stand."

CHAMPIONS: Fred Couples birdied six of the first seven holes and finished with a course-record 10-under 62 to take a seven-stroke lead in the AT&T Championship in San Antonio.

Couples had 12 birdies — six in a back-nine 30 — and a double-bogey to reach 17 under at TPC San Antonio's Canyons Course, the first-year venue after nine years at Oak Hills.

"It was just a lot of birdies, which you need to do, though I don't think you need to get 12 of them," Couples said.

LPGA: South Korea's Na Yeon Choi took a one-stroke lead over Brittany Lang in the LPGA Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur, finishing off a 4-under 67 in fading light after a long rain delay. Choi birdied the par-3 15th and par-4 16th and closed with two pars to reach 12 under. Seminole's Brittany Lincicome shot 73 for a 3-over 216, ahead of Tampa's Cindy LaCrosse (72—217) and Kristy McPherson (71—222).

Simpson stays in striking distance 10/15/11 [Last modified: Saturday, October 15, 2011 8:55pm]
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