Sunday, May 31, 2009

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Nick Price took a one-stroke lead into the final day of the Principal Charity Classic for the second straight year.

After finally winning on the Champions Tour in April at the Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am, the three-time major champion liked his chances to wrap up the title that eluded him last year when he faded to a third-place finish at Glen Oaks.

``This year's a little different. I'm obviously a little more comfortable, having had the win under my belt,'' Price said after shooting a 4-under 67 on Saturday. ``But it's going to be a shootout tomorrow. This field is so bunched up.''

Price had a 7-under 135 total. Joey Sindelar (67) and Mark Wiebe (68) were 6 under, and Fred Funk (69) and Mark McNulty (69) were 5 under. Mike Reid had a 66, the best round of the day, to top a six-player group at 4 under.

Two-time defending champion Jay Haas was 3 under after a 67.

Price overcame two early bogeys Saturday with an eagle on No. 9, then nearly made a hole-in-one on the par-3 14th.

Sindelar and Wiebe both three-putted 18 to miss a chance to tie Price.

Wiebe, who has just one top-10 finish this season, is shooting for his first title since the Cap Cana Championship in April 2008.

``I like the way I'm swinging, for sure, and my attitude is pretty good,'' Wiebe said. ``Obviously the last hole is frustrating, to end that way, but I've played good. I like the way I'm playing, I like being in the hunt.''

Three players entered the second round with a share of the lead for the first time in the tournament's nine-year history. They all shot over par Saturday to fall back into the pack.

Native Iowan Lonnie Nielsen had double bogeys on the par-4 10th and par-3 14th and finished with a 72. Nielsen, who also held a share of lead after last year's first round before faltering, was tied for 12th at 3 under.

Bruce Vaughan's day disintegrated after an opening birdie. Vaughan went through a stretch with four bogeys in eight holes - all on par 4s. He had a 74 to drop into a tie for 23rd at 1 under. Tour newcomer Olin Browne bogeyed his final two holes for a 73, leaving him five strokes behind Price at 2 under

Andy Bean, who finished second last year, withdrew after five holes because of a left foot injury. Bean, who opened with a 68, had three straight bogeys before pulling out.

Perhaps the biggest factor for the final round could be the wind, which is often a major issue at Glen Oaks. It's expected to change directions from northwest to southeast on Sunday, with gusts of up to 25 mph.

``It'll probably throw everyone a curveball,'' Wiebe said. ``You've got to be on your toes.''

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