Jay Haas leads Hope Classic

Jan. 19, 2002 at 8:18 PM
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LAQUINTA, Calif., Jan. 19 (UPI) -- Closer to the Senior Tour than his prime, Jay Haas shot a 9-under-par 63 Saturday to take a one-stroke lead over Kenny Perry and Cameron Beckman after the fourth round of the Bob Hope Classic.

The 48-year-old Haas holed out from the fairway for an eagle at No. 1 and added eight birdies around a late bogey at Indian Wells Country Club to reach 26-under 262.

Haas won here in 1988, but claimed the last of his nine PGA Tour titles in 1993. He leads active PGA Tour players with 703 starts -- over 100 more than his closest peer -- and will be eligible for the Senior Tour in 2004.

Perry, 41, blitzed the host PGA West course, matching the lowest round of his career with a 62 while extending his bogey-free stretch to 54 holes.

The Kentucky native will return to PGA West on Sunday and aim for his second win in nine starts following a six-year drought that began after his win at this event in 1995.

Beckman remained the only player in the event with four sub-68 rounds, firing a 65 at Indian Wells. He is seeking his second title in 88 starts, having closed his 2001 season with a win at the Southern Farm Bureau Classic.

The event remained wide open as 16 players were within five strokes of Haas. Among them were Kirk Triplett, rookie Deane Pappas, Brandel Chamblee and David Berganio Jr. at 24-under 264.

Veteran Duffy Waldorf and tour rookie John Senden were tied for eighth at 265, a stroke better than world No. 2 Phil Mickelson and Jerry Kelly.

Chris DiMarco, Justin Leonard, Steve Stricker, Loren Roberts, Craig Stadler and Ian Leggatt were tied for 12th at 267.

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