Romero in lead despite mistakes

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Eduardo Romero missed a chance to take a big lead into the final day of the Senior PGA Championship, bogeying the final two holes on Saturday.

Updated: May 28, 2007 14:49 IST
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Kiawah Islan, South Carolina:

Eduardo Romero missed a chance to take a big lead into the final day of the Senior PGA Championship, bogeying the final two holes on Saturday to finish the third round with a two-stroke advantage.

Romero was 9 under and four shots ahead after a birdie on the par-3 14th, but hit into a bunker on the 17th hole, leading to one bogey. Then he missed a 7-foot par putt on the 18th hole to tighten up a tournament he appeared to have a lock on.

Still, the Argentine star was 7 under after his 71, two strokes better than Denis Watson (69) and Nick Price (70). Naomichi "Joe" Ozaki (72) was fourth at 4 under.

No one else was under par after three days at Pete Dye's seaside layout.

Romero had played the best of anyone through two rounds of wind gusts as high as 49.89 kph - and urged the nearby Atlantic to do its worst because Romero grew up playing far breezier rounds in his native country.

Even though gusts slackened, Romero's game did not until the end. He had gone 17 holes without a bogey before closing with two straight.

He remains poised for a second straight major on the Champions Tour - he captured The Tradition in his rookie season last summer - and to become the first international player to take this tournament since Gary Player did it in 1990.

Romero looked as steady as ever for most of the round.

He birdied the par-5 seventh for a third straight day and, after his ball skipped through a sand dune and landed in front of the 11th green, Romero lengthened his lead to two shots with a birdie there.

Romero extended it to three with a birdie on the par-3 14th. When Romero found trouble in a sand dune alongside the 15th hole, he simply chipped up to two feet and saved par.

Romero, though, could escape problems down the stretch, missing similar putts on both closing holes.

Watson's run was fueled by consecutive birdies on the 11th and 12th holes that got him two shots behind. But a bogey on No. 17 dropped him back. Watson is seeking his first tour victory since winning three PGA Tour titles in 1984.

Ozaki stayed close enough to Romero for most of the round. He fell back, though, when he drove into a dune left of the 15th fairway, could not hack his way out on his next shot and made double-bogey 6.

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