Leonard continues to set the pace at Disney

Justin Leonard is still turning back the clock in Florida this weekend and is joint leader ahead of the final day.

Image: John Raoux/AP/Press Association Images

WITH NO SIGN of a Luke Donald fightback at the Children’s Miracle Network Classic in Florida, it was left to Justin Leonard and Kevin Chappell to keep the crowd entertained on Saturday.

Joint overnight leader Leonard chipped in three times in the space of five holes to maintain his position at the head of the field and was joined by PGA Tour rookie Chappell at the top of the leaderboard.

Chappell was much more consistent during a round of 66, overcoming a bogey on the opening hole and giving himself a steady diet of ten to 15-foot birdie putts throughout the day on the Magnolia Course. The pair are tied at 14-under, one shot ahead of 21-year-old Bio Kim, who needs at least a two-way tie for second to secure his tour card for next year.

Donald, who trails Webb Simpson by $363,029, was tied for fourth when he reached the par-five 14th, only three shots off the lead and, crucially, three strokes ahead of Simpson.

However, when he walked off the green at 18, the world number one was in a tie for 14th, tied with Simpson and six shots behind. Donald wound up with a 70, while Simpson eventually shot 69 to move one shot ahead. The former needs no worse than a two-way tie for second and for his rival to finish well down the field if he is to add the PGA Tour money title to its European equivalent.

“I’m a little more confident than I was two hours ago,” Simpson said afterwards, not making it clear if he was talking about his 32 on the back nine or his chances of capturing the money list.

“The strength of my round was definitely from off the green,” Leonard told reporters.

“I certainly didn’t play great, and to be able to hole … really the two shots, five and nine, from off the green certainly is a huge boost.

“There are days when those things don’t go our way, and the round can get away from me. Today, I scored. And it’s something I have not been doing at all this entire year.”

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Eleven players were within four shots of the lead, a group that includes Simpson and five players that are trying to get inside the top 125 on the money list to secure their tour cards for next year. Nick O’Hern had a 70, while Henrik Stenson dropped two shots over the last five holes for a 72. They were at 12-under 204.

- Reporting from AP

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