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Sauers takes lead at Senior Open


The Associated Press

First published Jul 12 2014 11:20PM
Updated Jul 12, 2014 11:51PM

Edmond, Okla. • Several years ago, a rare skin disorder left Gene Sauers unsure if he would survive. Now he has a chance to win the U.S. Senior Open.

Sauers crept up on the field and shot a 3-under 68 on Saturday to take a three-stroke lead after three rounds at Oak Tree National. He moved to 7 under, passing front-runners Bernhard Langer, Scott Dunlap and Colin Montgomerie along the way.

The journey to this opportunity is what makes Sunday’s final round extra special for the 51-year-old Sauers. He said a reaction to a wrongly prescribed medication caused Stevens-Johnson syndrome, a disorder that burned the skin on his arms and legs from the inside out.

While he was in the hospital for seven weeks recovering, he pictured his golf swing. He got out of the hospital in June 2011 and eventually returned to the course.

"The good Lord said I’m going to give you another chance," Sauers said. "Bogey doesn’t matter that much anymore. That’s when I learned to have a great time and tried to hit everything I was capable of doing, and it worked out today."

Langer and Dunlap are tied for second at 4 under. Montgomerie is another stroke back in fourth.

It looked as if Montgomerie might run away from the field early on in the third round. He opened with birdies on Nos. 1 and 3 to jump out to a four-shot lead over Langer, who by then had moved from third to second.

PGA Tour

In Silvis, Ill., Brian Harman had two eagles in a 6-under 65 on Saturday that gave him a one-stroke lead after three rounds of the John Deere Classic.

Harman’s solid performance got him to 17-under 196 for the tournament at TPC Deere Run. Three-time winner Steve Stricker is alone in second, one stroke better than Scott Brown heading into the final round.

Women’s British Open

In Southport, England, Inbee Park shot a 4-under 68 and took the lead in the Women’s British Open after a late penalty against Ahn Sun-Ju. Park was at 4-under 212 at Royal Birkdale, one shot clear of Ahn, Shanshan Feng of China and Suzann Pettersen going into the final round.

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