Golf: Price ties up

Golf
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The Independent Online
NICK PRICE dropped three shots at the last four holes to end up tying for the lead with Corey Pavin after three rounds of the Million Dollar Challenge in Sun City, South Africa, yesterday. Price, round in 72, and Pavin, who carded 69, were level on a six-under-par score of 210, two ahead of the Scotsman Sam Torrance (70), and Germany's Bernhard Langer (71). The South African Ernie Els shot 69 to finish one shot further back.

Price went nine-under for the tournament with his third birdie of the day at the par-five 14th, but gave the shot back at the next. The lead was thrown wide open two holes later, when the Zimbabwean double-bogeyed the par-four 17th to drop back to six-under, precisely where he had started the round.

The early leader leaked his drive into a fairway bunker on the right and could not reach the green in two. His chip ran through the back of the green and he needed three more to get down.

Price said: "I hit bad drives at 15 and 17, but the one at 15 really hurt. I could not go at the pin and I had to chip out sideways and that got me cross with myself and I went on to hit some more bad shots."

Pavin, the US Open champion, played flawlessly in his three-birdie round. He said: "To play error-free golf when the course is set up this tough is really pleasing. Nick and I are good friends, but we'll be trying to beat each other's brains out tomorrow. But the way the leader board is bunched up it's too soon to say who'll win."

In Australia, the world No 1, Greg Norman, hit an atrocious 11 strokes at a par-five hole to destroy his chances in the tournament bearing his name at the Lakes course, Sydney.

The Australian tumbled from eight under, seven shots off the lead, to a six-over 79 and joint 41st place in the third-round of the Greg Norman Classic. His fellow Australian Craig Parry retained his lead on 16 under after hitting 71, followed by the New Zealander Michael Campbell, on 14 under, and the Frenchman Jean-Louis Guepy, a further two strokes behind. Four players - Grant Waite, Frank Nobilo, Brad Faxon and Terry Price - finished on 11 under.

Norman's troubles started in the middle of the 14th fairway when he hit four shots from the same spot as he tried to clear the water to the green. The first attempt, his two-iron second shot, bounced back down into a water hazard to the left of the green and, with nowhere to drop on that side, he had no choice but to return to the same spot on the fairway. He hit two more into the water before finding the green-front bunker, pitching out and two-putting.

Norman said: "It was one of those strange things that can happen on the golf course. It's a very humbling game," before adding, in anticipation of today's final round, "there'll be nothing better than walking up to that 14th hole and making a three".

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