Leonard, Chappell share lead

SPORTS NETWORK

, Last Updated: 12:51 PM ET

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Justin Leonard posted a two-under 70 on Saturday and was joined atop the leaderboard by Kevin Chappell after three rounds of the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals Classic.

Chappell fired a six-under 66 to match Leonard at 14-under-par 202. Leonard, who holed out for birdie from off the green three times on the front nine, will go for his 13th PGA Tour title on Sunday, while Chappell will be going for his first tour win.

Bio Kim, who shared the second-round lead with Leonard and Henrik Stenson, managed a one-under 71 to drop into third place at minus-13.

Stenson holed an 11-foot par putt at the last to shoot 72. He shares fourth place at 12-under-par 204 with Nick O'Hern (70).

After play rotated between the Palm Course and Magnolia Course at Disney for the first two rounds, the third round was contested on the Magnolia Course.

With players battling to get inside the top 125 on the money list, there was an even bigger battle at the top of that list.

Money-leader Webb Simpson was one-over par through nine holes and trailed No. 2 Luke Donald by three strokes. The duo, who was playing together for the third straight day, had much different back nines.

Simpson birdied four of six holes from the 10th en route to a three-under 69. World No. 1 Donald faltered to a double-bogey after driving it in the water on the par-five 14th.

After that poor drive, Donald three-putted for his double-bogey. That ended a streak of 483 holes without a three-putt for Donald. He also bogeyed 16, but closed a round of two-under 70 with a birdie at the last.

Simpson shares ninth at 10-under-par 206, while Donald is one back at minus- nine. Donald needs a two-way tie for second or better to have any chance at passing Simpson for the money title.

Leonard fell behind with a bogey at the first, but got up and down for birdie on the fourth and chipped in for birdie, for the first time, at the fifth. That gave him a one-stroke lead as Stenson followed a birdie on No. 4 with a bogey at the fifth.

The 39-year-old Leonard missed the green at the par-three sixth and that led to a bogey, which dropped him one behind Stenson, who holed out from a bunker for birdie.

Leonard caught fire at the eighth and it was his wedge game that carried him back into the lead. He bellied a wedge from off the green on the par-five eighth and that rolled into the cup for birdie.

After blocking his second shot right at the ninth, Leonard hit a perfect chip shot that rolled into the hole for an unlikely birdie.

"The strength of my round was definitely from off the green," Leonard said. "The one at five was going pretty fast, and the one at nine, I was trying to give myself a decent putt at par. And the one at eight was a little more realistic, but to hole it three times from off the green was pretty good."

Leonard got up and down from off the green at the par-five 10th for this third consecutive birdie, but he was just one clear of Stenson, who also birdied No. 10. Stenson carded six pars and two bogeys the rest of the way.

Leonard extended his lead to two with a 15-foot birdie effort on the par-three 12th. However, he three-putted for bogey on the 13th, and gave another stroke back with a bogey on 15 after finding sand off the tee.

He parred the last three holes to end alongside Chappell, who was already in the clubhouse.

Leonard, who has never finished outside the top 125 on the money list since joining the tour, got confirmation on Friday that he has his tour card for next year regardless of what happens this week. After his win at the 1997 British Open, a player will have that (multiple-year exemption for winning a major) extended by one year for each official victory in subsequent years. Leonard won the 1998 Players Championship and also collected eight titles between 2000-08.

Chappell traded a bogey for a birdie from the first. He moved to 10-under with birdies at five and seven.

Around the turn, Chappell flew up the leaderboard. He birdied the 10th, then poured in three straight birdie tries from the 12th to get to minus-14. Chappell parred the final four holes to end at 14-under.

"It's a comfortable week for me. I came in here with a different attitude than I've had," Chappell said in a television interview. "I'm just treating it like the last event of the year and trying to get some momentum for next year."

NOTES: Leonard has won five of the previous 10 PGA Tour events in which he had a piece of the 54-hole lead...Chappell has his card wrapped up for next year thanks to a share of second at the Texas Open and a tie for third at the U.S. Open...Donald and Simpson will play alongside one another for the fourth straight day on Sunday...The projected money list has just three players from outside the top 125 moving into that range after three rounds...Michael Sim, who needed a really good week to get inside the top 125 on the money list, withdrew before the round with the flu and will lose his tour card.


Photos