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Norman, Singh Lead Darkness-Delayed Doral Open

March 3, 1996

MIAMI (AP) _ Greg Norman and Vijay Singh, playing head-to-head, matched each other putt-for-putt and shared the lead at the Doral-Ryder Open when darkness halted third-round play Saturday.

The co-leaders at 12-under par were facing birdie putts on the 15th hole when they marked their spot and chose to wait until Sunday to putt out.

Eight other players _ including Joe Ozaki at 11-under and Lennie Clements and Michael Bradley at 10-under _ will finish the third round then wait for the final round to start.

Ozaki and Bradley were through 14 holes, Clements through 15.

``That will be the hardest part,″ Norman said. ``What do you do for three or four hours? Prance around the room?″

A 1 hour, 20-minute delay at midday caused by casual water on the greens from a sudden shower backed up play and made it impossible to finish before dark.

Glen Day was the leader in the clubhouse at 10-under-par 216 while Ben Crenshaw and Mike Brisky finished at 9-under. Six players had finished at 8-under.

``That’s not something you like to have on a Sunday,″ Crenshaw said about those who must go back out on the course. ``I’m happy to be finished.″

Third-round play will resume at 9 a.m. and the final round will start at 11:15, using both the first and 10th tees. Crenshaw thinks Norman and Singh will be difficult to catch.

``Greg has played so consistently well in so many place,″ Crenshaw said. ``He just has great control of his game right now. And Vijay is dangerous with his length.

``I can’t shoot anything more than 68 tomorrow or 67 and have a prayer,″ he said.

Certainly not if Norman and Singh play like they did on the front nine Saturday, where both shot 32.

``We both holed quite a lot of good putts,″ said Singh, who putts pendulum style with an extra long putter he just starting using earlier this year. His best was a 25-footer for eagle on No. 8 to get to 12 under par.

Norman followed moments later by rolling in a 20-footer on top of Singh to get to 11-under. Norman then made an 18-footer for birdie on No. 9, and the two headed for the back nine tied at 12-under.

``I had the feel for the greens,″ Norman said. ``We’re going to get good greens in the morning and good light,″ he said, explaining why he marked an 18-foot birdie putt on No. 15 and Singh marked a 10-footer.

Both had parred all five holes on the back nine, and neither had made a bogey in the round.

Crenshaw, who almost passed up the tournament because of a sore back, shot a 68 on Saturday, making six birdie putts of 10-to-25 feet. He bogeyed No. 18 when he drove into the left rough near the water and had to lay up short of the green.

He also made ``a very good bogey″ on No. 3 when he drove into the water and got down in two from 100 yards to make a 5.

Day got to 10-under par with a 67 in which he closed with a birdie, birdie finish.

Both Ozaki, the second-round leader at 10-under-par, and Bradley, in second place after 36 holes at 9-under, played well and picked up one stroke on par Saturday. But Norman and Singh sprinted right past them, playing 14 holes at 4-under.

They finished the front nine in a flurry, with Norman making birdies on Nos. 5, 7, 8 and 9 _ all on putts of between 15 and 20 feet _ and Singh made a birdie on No. 6 and an eagle on No. 8.

They would have been devastating better-ball partners, shooting a 29 on the front side.

DIVOTS: CBS continues to run through the rain drops with its golf coverage. It lost both weekend rounds at Pebble Beach, then was thrown off its schedule here, going off the air as Singh and Norman were teeing off on No. 13. The L.A. Open did go off without a hitch last weekend, however.

Because of TV coverage, the final tee time of the day was set at 2:10, giving virtually no margin of error when rain interrupted play. Without daylight savings time, there was no way to get the round in before dark.

Norman has been commuting the 100 miles from his home in Hobe, Fla., to Doral by helicopter everyday.

Raymond Floyd had gotten to 7-under when he made a triple bogey 7 on No. 3, hitting two balls in the water, one off the tee and another off the fairway.

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