Pernice Leads AT&T National Golf TournamentBy David Byrd
Bethesda, Maryland
05 July 2008

American golfer Tom Pernice Jr. has a one stroke lead over compatriot Steve Stricker headed into the final round of the A&T National tournament in Bethesda, Maryland. As VOA's David Byrd reports, Pernice struggled on the Congressional Country Club Course, but still took the lead late in his round.

Tom Pernice Jr tees off on the eighth hole during the third round of the AT&T National golf tournament at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Md., 05 Jul 2008Pernice started the day at 9-under-par and only a birdie (one stroke under par on a hole) on the 17th hole put him into the lead. The 48-year-old Pernice is 10-under-par, 200 for the tournament. He said after his third round that he cannot take winning for granted.

"You know I don't know if it (leading) is an advantage or not," he said. "There are a bunch of guys there on the leaderboard that are four or five shots back that have a great opportunity. I have to go out there and shoot a good score to win a golf tournament, I can't worry about anything else. So it is just a matter of me being able to control my emotions and go out there and, you know, execute and do what I need to do."

Stricker started the day at 5-under-par and had a 4-under-par, 66 to move to 9-under-par, 201 for the tournament. He says that this tournament is still up for grabs.

"You are going to have to play well," he said. "I mean there's going to be some guys coming from behind probably with some low scores. So you are going to have to shoot a good solid round tomorrow to win."

Tommy Armour III of the United States, Nick O'Hern of Australia and second round co-leader Jeff Overton of the United States are tied for third at 8-under-par, 202.

Thunderstorms are predicted for Sunday so the field will play threesomes and will start from both the first and the 10th tee in order to finish. This week's winner receives more than $1 million.
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