Faxon, Gay sit two strokes back

HARRISON, N.Y. -- Jim Furyk finally had some company at the top of the Barclays Classic leaderboard after a hot afternoon at sun-baked Westchester Country Club.

Irish star Padraig Harrington grabbed a share of the third-round lead, shooting a 3-under 68 on Saturday to match Furyk at 9-under 204. Furyk, the 2003 U.S. Open winner who was alone at the top after each of the first two days, had a 70 in the 90-degree heat.

"The greens definitely firmed up, got baked out," Furyk said. "They were almost turning white at the end. Everywhere you stepped you could kind of see your footmarks, not because they were soft, but because they were stressed out pretty well."

Harrington, a nine-time winner on the European tour who won the Honda Classic in March for his first PGA Tour title, lost a playoff to Sergio Garcia last year in his first appearance in the tournament.

"I like old old-style, tree-lined golf courses like this," Harrington said. "It seems to really fit my eye well. I grew up on this style of greens."

After Harrington, playing a group ahead of Furyk, holed a 30-foot birdie chip from the fringe on the par-3 16th to take the lead, Furyk regained a share of the top spot with a nine-foot birdie putt on the same hole. Harrington pulled ahead again with a two-putt birdie on the par-5 18th, and Furyk matched him, holing a short putt after playing his third shot out of the left greenside bunker.

"Playing with Jim Furyk tomorrow, knowing that Jim Furyk is there, you know that you've got to go out and play golf," Harrington said. "He's always going to be good and steady, so I've got to go out and play better. That's it."

Furyk, winless since returning to competition a year ago after surgery on his left wrist, shot a 65 on Thursday to open a three-stroke lead and had a 69 on Friday to take a two-stroke advantage into the weekend.

"I thought it played more difficult than the first two rounds," Furyk said. "I just kind of got it around. The back nine was playing very demanding."

The nine-time tour winner bogeyed the par-4 15th after hitting his approach shot well short into the right front bunker but rebounded with his birdie on No. 16.

"I made a mistake on 15 with a wedge in my hands," Furyk said.

Furyk has not won since the 2003 Buick Open, two months after his major victory at Olympia Fields. He has come close twice this season, tying for second in consecutive starts -- including a playoff loss to Vijay Singh in the Wachovia Championship.

"The big step is to go out tomorrow and play a good round and try to win the golf tournament and not really put the cart before the horse," Furyk said.

Brad Faxon (66) and Brian Gay (71) were two strokes back at 7-under.

The 43-year-old Faxon, winless since the 2001 Sony Open, has only one top 20 finish in 16 events this year, a sixth-place tie in the Honda Classic.

"You think you should eat this place up, but nobody does," Faxon said.

Singh was 5-under after a 69. Tied for the lead at 8-under after 12 holes, the 1993 and 1995 winner had a double-bogey 6 on No. 13 and a bogey on No. 16.

On the 418-yard 13th, the second-ranked Singh drove into the thick right-side rough, hit his second shot into knee-high grass 100 yards short of the green and advanced the ball only 20 yards with his third.

Kenny Perry and Australia's John Senden shot 72s to join Singh at 5-under, and Dean Wilson (66), Pat Perez (68), Brett Quigley (68) and Len Mattiace (73) were 4-under. Senden, paired with Furyk, eagled the par-5 fifth hole for a share of the lead at 9-under but bogeyed four of the final 13 holes to drop back.

Garcia, also the 2001 champion, was 3-over after a 73. ... The tournament has been decided in playoffs five of the last seven years, with Garcia beating Rory Sabbatini on the third extra hole last year after Harrington was eliminated on the second. ... U.S. Amateur champion Ryan Moore was 5-over after a 73. He turned pro this week after tying for 57th in the U.S. Open. ... The players were grouped in threesomes in an attempt to speed up play on the tight, 6,839-yard course. They will play in threesome again Sunday, with Faxon joining Furyk and Harrington in the final group. ... Corey Pavin followed his Friday-best 64 with a 74 to drop to 2-over. He shot a 77 on Thursday.