Scott scrambles to remain in Nelson lead


IRVING, Texas (AP) – Adam Scott took a drop on an awkward slope, then slouched into a squat after taking his swing and watched the ball land on the green.

That impressive recovery for a bogey at No. 9, after hitting his tee shot under a tree and into the water, was part of a scrambling round of 1-under 69 Saturday in the Byron Nelson Championship that was enough to keep him tied for the lead with Trevor Immelman at 11-under 199.

Despite three more bogeys on the back nine, Scott held a share of the lead for the third straight day.

Immelman, who lost a playoff to Jim Furyk in the Wachovia Championship last week, had a bogey-free 64 on the 7,052-yard TPC at Las Colinas. Furyk missed the cut this week after moving to fifth in the world ranking.

Brett Wetterich (70) was a stroke back at 10-under 200. Charley Hoffman (65), Chad Campbell (65), Joe Ogilvie (69) and Omar Uresti (69) were tied for fourth at 202.

Scott, the 25-year-old Australian who two years ago became the youngest winner of The Players Championship, has led after 54 holes three previous times. He had the outright lead each time, and won each time.

A 54-hole leader has won 16 of 18 PGA Tour events this year.

Plus, all of Scott’s victories came on TPC courses, the last the 2004 Booz Allen Classic at the TPC at Avenel. He got an unofficial victory last year when the Nissan Open was shorted to 36 holes by rain.

Arron Oberholser shot a 72, including a double bogey on the 18th hole, a day after shooting a tournament-record 60, to finish at 4-under 206. He missed a chance to become only the fourth player in PGA Tour history to shoot a 59 when he his 15-foot birdie on the final hole Friday curled and stopped short.

Immelman had a chance to match Scott for the lead at the 196-yard 17th, but his 13-foot birdie putt slid right of the hole and he settled for par to remain 11 under.

At that time, Scott was at No. 15, where he missed the fairway and the green, and was 64 feet from the pin. He hit 7 feet past, but saved par to stay at 12 under.

But when Scott got to the 17th, his tee shot landed in a bunker fronting the green. He blasted a shot to 6 feet, but pushed the par putt a foot past the hole.

Scott had four birdies the first eight holes, starting with a 4-footer at 192-yard No. 2 hole. After missing the fairway at the 533-yard seventh, Scott punched a shot back into the fairway and hit an approach to less than 4 feet for another birdie, then had a 7-footer to get to 14 under before his wild ninth.

Hitting an iron off the No. 9 tee, Scott’s ball disappeared under a tree and trickled into the water to the right of the fairway. He had to drop on a slope 159 yards away, then punched a shot 40 feet past the pin. He two-putted for a bogey, on a hole that could have been much worse.

After getting the stroke back with a birdie at No. 10, Scott found bunkers with his next two drives. He saved par at the 347-yard 11th, but his approach at the 456-yard 12th found the rough behind the green and he came up short on a par-saving 9-foot putt.

At the 183-yard 13th, Scott missed the green and two-putted from 42 feet off the fringe for par. Another wayward drive at No. 14 bounced off a cart path and under a tree – this time not near any water – and he came up short on a 16-foot par chance.

Wetterich started the Nelson weekend tied for the lead for the second straight year. Again, he couldn’t make a move in the third round. But his 70 was three strokes better than last year.

Wetterich started with a bogey, getting a tough break at No. 1 when his approach shot from the middle of the fairway hit near the pin and spun back 40 feet onto the fringe. He left his chip 10 feet short, and disgustedly tossed his putter to his bag walking off the green.

Walking off the No. 2 green, a par 3, he hit his putter on the bag after a 12-foot birdie attempt skimmed by the hole. He a birdie after an approach shot to the less than 3 feet at No. 3, a 490-yard par 4.

Divots: Because of the forecast for thunderstorms overnight, tee times for Sunday were adjusted. There will be threesomes starting from the Nos. 1 and 10 tees. … Jeff Sluman had an early 64, his best round this season (46 rounds). He was at 6-under 204 after opening with consecutive 70s.

AP-ES-05-13-06 1800EDT