School spirit gives Davis Colonial edge

FORT WORTH, Texas -- Brian Davis made a group of high school freshmen very happy Saturday.

Cheered on by 17 students from Arlington Sam Houston High School, Davis grabbed a share of the lead at the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial with a third-round 65.

A writing project by Sam Houston English teacher Elizabeth Hodges turned into a thrilling Saturday at Colonial for some of her students.

The teacher noticed an online story about Davis calling a penalty on himself on the first playoff hole at the Verizon Heritage in mid-April, despite the fact the infraction could have gone unnoticed.

Hodges had students in her six classes write papers on what they would do under similar circumstances. She contacted the PGA to thank Davis for his ethical example.

When the message was relayed to the 35-year-old Davis, an Englishman who resides in Orlando, Fla., he invited the teacher and students to the tournament Saturday.

The group ate lunch in the media center, did interviews and went out to the course to cheer for Davis.

"It was a real thrill today," Hodges said. "Several of the kids said they felt so special. We were just overwhelmed with the love and attention. And it is great that Mr. Davis is playing well."

For his part, Davis seemed touched to receive the papers from the students.

"I wasn't expecting that," Davis said. "That threw me off. A nice bunch of kids. I was very happy the kids were here today and hopefully they had a good time."

Johnson trails by 1: Zach Johnson is counting on momentum from Saturday's 64 to carry over into Sunday's final round.

Johnson is 15 under, one shot off the lead.

"I think my momentum is pretty strong," Johnson said. "I hope I can continue for one more day."

Johnson followed an opening 65 with a 66 on Friday.

After shooting a first-round 80 and missing the cut two weeks ago at the Valero Texas Open, where he was defending champion, Johnson went home and rested. Actually, he said his turnaround began in San Antonio with a solid second-round 68.

"As frustrating as it was to miss the cut, I finished with a bogey-free round and was feeling pretty good," he said.

He skipped last week's HP Byron Nelson Championship: "I don't dislike Dallas, I'm just more of a Fort Worth kind of guy."

Fowler mounts run: The fact Rickie Fowler lists motocross as a hobby on his bio should be a hint that he isn't a part of your grandfather's PGA Tour.

Fowler, 21, has long locks, young fans and a golf game bursting with potential.

The former Oklahoma State star shot 6-under 64 on Saturday to leap several rungs on the Colonial leaderboard. He is at 9 under, tied for 24th.

"I'm living a dream playing golf with these guys," said Fowler, a California native. "I love it out here."

Colonial sports pink: Golfers and spectators alike wore pink Saturday in support of women diagnosed with breast cancer.

Crowne Plaza donated $100 for birdies and $500 for eagles Saturday, netting $36,600 for Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

The end of Saturday's round saw a symbolic release of pink and white balloons.

Choi stumbles at the end: K.J. Choi needed only to par No. 18 to shoot 62 and place him in a tie for fourth. He settled for a 66 and a tie for 18th after a quadruple-bogey 8, and he had to sink a 7-foot putt for that. Choi was 188 yards from the pin in the left rough after his tee shot but didn't reach the green for another six shots (including a penalty stroke).

Briefly: John Daly fell out of contention with the day's worst round, a 75, and will be in Sunday's first pairing with a 7:35 a.m. tee time. ... Pat Perez predicts it will take at least 20-under-par to win. After a 64 on Saturday, Perez is 10 under, tied for 18th. "So I've got a long way to go." ... Paul Goydos recorded the second ace of the tournament at the 195-yard par 3 No. 13 with a 5-iron. ... Ben Crane of Westlake, who aced No. 13 on Friday, holed a 143-wedge for eagle on No. 17, his third eagle of the week. He is tied for fourth at 14 under. ... Lee Janzen had no bogeys in his third round and only one in his last two days. He is tied for 13th at 11 under. ... Hole No. 2 was shortened 80 yards, to 301 yards, to tempt players to go for the green. The hole yielded three eagles and 34 birdies and played to a 3.47 average. ... A fourth straight hot, windless day is forecast for Sunday.