Senden leads John Deere

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Australian John Senden took the lead at the John Deere Classic on Saturday, one day after Michelle Wie withdrew because of heat exhaustion.

Updated: February 25, 2007 11:35 IST
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Silvis, Illinois:

Australian John Senden took the lead and the spotlight at the John Deere Classic on Saturday, one day after Michelle Wie withdrew because of heat exhaustion. With temperatures in the low 30s C, Senden shot a 7-under 64 and was 16 under through three rounds. "I'm excited to come out here," Senden said. "I can't say that I won't be nervous. I wouldn't be human if I wasn't. But I've got to manage it the best way I can and get out there and play." He has little room for error. Heath Slocum and Patrick Sheehan were three back at 13 under after 66s. Second-round leader Joe Ogilvie (69), Alex Cejka (64), Steve Jones (66), J.P. Hayes (66) and Daniel Chopra (68) were 12 under. With the hype surrounding Wie's bid to become the first woman in 61 years to make the cut on the US PGA Tour, the rest of the field was overshadowed. The 16-year-old Wie had finished a combined five shots off the lead in the first three women's majors this year and was back at the site of her close call in 2005, when she missed the cut by two strokes. A 6-over 77 on the first day all but dashed her hopes. And with the temperature at 31 C on Friday, the heat got to her. Wie was 8 over when she withdrew after nine holes. She was treated at the course medical trailer and taken by ambulance to a hospital, where she was released late on Friday. In a four-way tie for second and one shot off the lead through two rounds, Senden birdied the first two holes and seven in all. He saved par on No. 17 after his tee shot sailed to the right and landed beyond a walkway. It's the first time he has led after three rounds since joining the US PGA Tour in the autumn of 2001. Senden's best finish was a tie for fifth at the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic in January. (AP)

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