Making Up For Lost Time

October 10, 2008

After holing out for an eagle on 11 and getting four birdies, Sabbatini shot 29 on the back side.

SAN ANTONIO (AP) -- South Africa's Rory Sabbatini birdied the final hole for a 7-under 63 and a one-stroke lead over Zach Johnson on Saturday in the Texas Open.

Sabbatini, a four-time tour winner who lives in Southlake outside Dallas, had an eagle and four birdies for a back-nine 29 on the La Cantera Golf Club's Resort Course. Winless since the 2007 Colonial in Fort Worth, he had a 14-under 196 total.

"It's fun to play a course where you actually know where the ball is going. It's been a frustrating year, but this feels good," Sabbatini said.

Johnson, the 2007 Masters champion, shot a bogey-free 62, playing the front nine in 5-under 30. He has three career PGA Tour victories, but has only one top-10 finish this year and entered the week 125th on the money list.

"Some of my best rounds have come with limited confidence," Johnson said. "I didn't have high expectations coming in. But when I've played well, I've putted well and that was the case today."

Tim Wilkinson (63), 1997 winner Tim Herron (67) and second-round leader Chris Stroud (69) were 11 under, and Mark Wilson (66), Joe Ogilvie (67), Michael H. Thompson (67), Jeff Overton (67) and Tim Petrovic (68) followed at 10 under.

Defending champion Justin Leonard, the former University of Texas star seeking a record fourth victory in the event, was 7 under after a 64.

"There's still a lot of golf to be played, but it's going to take another round like this or better to have a chance tomorrow," Leonard said.