PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Mark Calcavecchia finished a round of 65 and left PGA National in a hurry, since his son was waiting at an airport an hour away.

If he’d stayed, he would have seen his name move up the leaderboard.

And so it went on a topsy-turvy day at the Honda Classic – where the guy who started the third round in front found a way to finish there, too.

Y.E. Yang shot even-par 70, good enough to give him a one-shot lead over Jeff Klauk (67) and Jeff Overton (70, with a triple-bogey on the 11th hole, going twice in the water, followed by two birdies in his last three holes) entering the Honda’s final round.

“I kept fighting,” Overton said. “And now I’ve got a chance to win.”

Yang bogeyed the third hole, birdied the 15th and made nothing but pars the rest of the way, a slow-and-steady approach that worked.

Others, well, they needed a roller-coaster mentality.

Ben Crane got into the lead with an ace on the 162-yard fifth hole, then chipped in on the next hole for another birdie to get to 7 under. He then made two double-bogeys in the next five holes, finishing three shots back.

Charlie Wi (65), Brett Quigley (67) and John Rollins (68) all finished two shots off the pace, at 5 under.

“If you would have said, take 65 on the first tee, I would have said, ‘See ya later,”‘ Wi said. “So, you know, I gave myself a chance.”

So did Calcavecchia, who will start Sunday tied for seventh and in position to pull off something statistically bizarre.

He won the Honda in 1987, prevailed again 11 years later – and now, 11 years after that, is in contention again, at 4 under for the week.

“It is nice to know that I can still compete out here with these young guys. It is,” said Calcavecchia, who moved three spots up the leaderboard after leaving the course. “I’m still confident in my abilities and if I play a great round tomorrow I can win the tournament.”

And that would be a huge The guys ahead of him aren’t exactly some of golf’s fabled closers, either.

Rollins has won twice in 238 career PGA Tour starts, and he’s the only one of the first six on the leaderboard ever to win an event in golf’s big leagues. Klauk is 0-for-7. Yang, 0-for-46. Wi, 0-for-84. Overton, 0-for-85. And then there’s Quigley, a winner of more than $9 million but no tour events, going 0-for-339.

Someone will have a shot at a breakthrough Sunday.

Yang, Crane, Overton, Klauk, Will MacKenzie (72) and James Nitties (70) all had at least a piece of the lead at some point Saturday. MacKenzie finished in a six-way tie for seventh, three shots back. Nitties is part of a group four shots off Yang’s pace.

Crane used a 9-iron for his hole-in-one, the first at the Honda in seven years. It hopped a couple of times, just below the hole, then rolled into the cup. And on the next hole, his pitch from off the right side of the green came out a bit hotter than he liked, hit the pin and dropped.

LPGA Tour

SINGAPORE – Australia’s Katherine Hull had seven birdies en route to a 6-under 66 to take a two-stroke lead over Angela Stanford after the third round of the HSBC Women’s Champions.

Hull, who won the Australian Ladies Masters last month, had an 11-under 205 total on the Tanah Merah Country Club, where play was suspended for 2 hours, 19 minutes because of lighting and heavy rain.

Sun Young Yoo (68) was a stroke back of Stanford and a shot ahead of Korean compatriot Mi Hyun Kim (70), with second round co-leader American Paula Creamer (72) five strokes off the lead.

Champions Tour

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. – Mark O’Meara shot a 5-under 66 to grab a share of the lead with Bernhard Langer at the Toshiba Classic.

Eduardo Romero (68) of Argentina is one stroke behind at 8-under 134 and Denis Watson (68) is at 7 under.

O’Meara, who won 16 PGA Tour events – including two majors – is winless on the Champions Tour in 33 starts.

O’Meara replaced all of his woods this week and is ninth in driving distance and 12th in total driving. He hit 13 of 14 fairways and 16 of 18 greens in the second round.

AP-ES-03-07-09 2109EST


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