Langer's late charge ties him for lead at Colonial

Scott Verplank, Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial
Donna McWilliam/AP
The Texan Scott Verplank had five birdies in 13 holes Saturday before the third round was stopped. He is nine under for the tournament, tied with five other players. Last month in nearby Irving, he had an emotional victory at the EDS Byron Nelson Championship.

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Bernhard Langer made an eagle and had three birdies in a late four-hole stretch to surge into a share of the lead at the rain-drenched Colonial, which finally finished the third round Sunday morning.

Langer, the two-time Masters champion who hasn't won on the PGA Tour since Augusta in 1993, finished a round of 4-under 66 to tie with Rory Sabbatini (62), Scott Verplank (63) and Jim Furyk (68) at 11-under 199.

Peter Lonard (67), Tom Lehman (68) and Jeff Maggert (68) were two strokes back.

Despite the threat of more rain, tournament officials were hopeful of getting the final round completed Sunday.

After an 11-footer for birdie at the fourteenth, Langer holed out for eagle with a 7-iron from 163 yards at the par-4 fifteenth. He added two more birdies before a closing par.

Sabbatini missed matching the tournament record of 61 when his birdie putt at the 408-yard ninth - his final hole of the round - scooted past the hole.

"It was a pity,'' said Sabbatini, who needed only 19 putts in the round. "But you can't make them all, I guess. I tried to.''

After hitting his drive at No. 7 in the rough under some trees, Sabbatini sighed when he got to his ball, then turned and looked over his shoulder at the dark clouds. He then knocked a shot onto the fringe, and his 45-foot putt missed by only inches.

"I actually thought with three or four feet to go there was absolutely no way it could miss,'' he said. "When it rolled over the front edge, it was one of those where it's kind of heart-wrenching in a sense.''

Sabbatini had seven birdies and a bogey through 12 holes when play was suspended Saturday night, and added two more birdies when he finished his round.

Verplank resumed his round by missing a 10-foot par putt at No. 14, where just before play was stopped Saturday he hit an approach from a puddle in the fairway into a greenside bunker. He finished with three straight birdies.

Last month in nearby Irving, Verplank won the EDS Byron Nelson Championship - the Texan's first tour win since 2001. The only person to win the Nelson and Colonial in the same year was Ben Hogan in 1946, the first Colonial.

Tim Clark (74), the 36-hole leader at 11 under, Arron Oberholser (73) and Ben Curtis (74) were in the last group to tee off for the third round. They had 12 holes left Sunday, when the trio combined for eight bogeys and only one birdie.

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