Parnevik takes 3-shot lead

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> On Saturday several Scandinavian golfers found themselves near the top of the leaderboard at the Texas Open.

Updated: October 09, 2007 06:47 IST
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La Cantera:

La Cantera may be a Spanish name for a golf course in Texas, but it must have sounded Swedish on Saturday as several Scandinavian golfers found themselves near the top of the leaderboard at the Texas Open.

The very top spot is held by Jesper Parnevik, who entered the day with a four shot lead over Swedish countryman Mathias Gronberg. Parnevik's approach here at 11 nearly dropped in, but set up a tap-in birdie to put him under par for the day.

After birdie-ing 12, Parnevik had this curving, downhill putt for birdie on 13 and it disappeared into the cup to move him to 17 under par.

That was where his card stood at the 17th hole as he took an iron to the tee and went chasing after his ball, which rolled right towards the cup, stopping a few feet away.

He sank that putt and finished his day with a 66 at 18 under par. Parnevik, who has not celebrated a win since the Honda Classic in 2001, is three strokes up heading into Sunday.

Gronberg remains Parnevik's closest challenger. He sank back-to-back birdies on 12 and 13, then again on 15 and 16 on his way to a 65.

Fredrik Jacobson and Richard S. Johnson dropped from contention but another Swede moved up. Daniel Chopra's closing hole birdie finished off a 64 that left him in a four-way tie for fourth place.

Chopra sits even with Shigeki Maruyama, who had a quiet round of 65 that was punctuated with this long birdie putt on the 17th hole.

Ryan Armour sank an even longer birdie in his round. Armour swept this putt across the 16th green to push him into that draw at 12 under par. The fourth golfer at that mark is Chris Stroud.

They are all a stroke behind Justin Leonard, who put up a bogey-free round of 64 to move into solo third place at 14 under par. He will have a bit of ground to make up on Sunday if he is to conquer the Swedes and take home his third Texas Open title.

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