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O'Meara, 2 others trail Uresti by one

If he looks at the names surrounding him on the Bay Hill Invitational leaderboard, Mark O'Meara knows he is part of no fearsome foursome.

The old man in the group, O'Meara can see that leader Omar Uresti never has won a PGA Tour event and has missed five of eight cuts this year. Or that Tim Herron fought his expectations after winning a year ago. Or that Stuart Appleby is running on adrenaline after winning at the Honda Classic last week.

O'Meara, 40, has been through more than all those 20-something golfers combined. He has won 14 tournaments in 17 years and climbed to fourth place on the PGA Tour's all-time money list with more than $8-million.

Now he has a chance to have a monster year.

O'Meara, who won back-to-back tournaments this season at Pebble Beach and San Diego, shot 4-under-par 68 Saturday at the Bay Hill Club to finish the third round one shot behind little-known Uresti and tied with Appleby and Herron.

"You just can't rest," said O'Meara, who leads the money list by more than $250,000 with $748,868. "My pride, what I play for, is to try and win golf tournaments. This tournament especially. Arnold Palmer, his tournament, means a lot to me. It means a lot to all of us. The champions who have won here. I know how much this tournament means to them."

O'Meara, who lives in Orlando and is a neighbor of tournament host Palmer, started the day three shots behind Palm Harbor's Skip Kendall, who held the second-round lead. But Kendall faltered with 79 (into a tie for 39th), and a slew of players surged to the top.

Uresti emerged with the lead after birdies at the 17th and 18th holes. He shot 69 to complete 54 holes at 205, 11 under par.

A shot back were O'Meara, Herron and Appleby. Phil Mickelson (70) and two-time Bay Hill winner Loren Roberts (70) were two behind Uresti. And three shots back were Davis Love III, Billy Andrade and Chris Perry.

Seventeen players were within five shots of Uresti's lead.

"I'm still trying to take it in," said Uresti, 28, whose best finish in a PGA Tour event is sixth at this year's Nissan Open. "I hope I'll be able to calm down a little and get after it."

Appleby, 25, a native of Australia who lives in Orlando, still is riding high after winning Sunday. He shot 63 on Friday, then followed it with 70.

"I should be able to learn from last week," Appleby said. "I've got nothing to lose. I just won a tournament. I'll just stay hard at it for another 18 holes."

Herron, 27, won last year's Honda Classic but managed just two top-10 finishes the rest of the year. He played the last seven holes Saturday in 5 under par, including eagle at the par-5 16th, to give himself another chance.

"I feel like I sometimes put too much pressure on myself," Herron said. "I'm just going to try and let whatever happens happen, just try to have a good time."

O'Meara is certainly doing that, even though he's playing without his best stuff. Despite his two victories this year and solid play this week, O'Meara has struggled with his driving and has not always been pleased with his ball-striking. He fell out of the lead Saturday when he hit his approach in the water at the 18th.

His experience may be worth more.

"I'm 40 years old," he said. "Years ago, I'd say, "Oh, gosh.' That's all part of the maturity factor.

"As you get older, you realize you're not going to play perfect golf all the time. It's all about managing your game, managing your emotions."

And that will be key today.

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