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Golf

Fast Finish Gives Perry Lead

The Associated Press
Published:   |   Updated: March 23, 2013 at 05:51 PM
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -

After erasing a four-stroke deficit in five holes, Kenny Perry wanted to be alone atop the FBR Open leaderboard.

All it took was a 33-foot putt on the 18th hole Saturday. When the putt dropped into the cup, it brought a roar from the massive TPC Scottsdale gallery and gave Perry a one-stroke lead against Scott Piercy through three rounds.

"Good time to make one," said Perry, who shot a 5-under 66.

Despite stumbling down the stretch, Piercy thought he had a one-stroke lead when he reached the clubhouse.

"They've still got to catch me right now," Piercy said after his 66.

Perry already had.

Perry erased a four-stroke deficit between the 13th and 17th holes. He birdied the 17th to catch Piercy and birdied the 18th to surge past him.

"Supper's going to taste good tonight," Perry said. "Great day."

Kevin Na (66), Brian Gay (67) and Charley Hoffman (69) were tied for third, two strokes off the lead.

Perry's rally set up an intriguing duel today between Perry, who turned pro in 1982, and Piercy, a rookie.

The 48-year-old Perry has 12 tour victories. The 30-year-old Piercy is playing in his 23rd PGA Tour event, and he's here on a sponsor exemption.

Na will join Perry and Piercy in the final group.

Perry's rally actually began Thursday, after he struggled through the first 14 holes.

"I was out of here," Perry said. "I'm 4 over with four to play on Thursday and just pretty much mad, basically, going into 15."

But Perry smashed a 3-wood from 275 yards out and birdied the par-5 15th, and he's been rolling ever since.

"You know what, it's amazing what one shot can do for you in a tournament," Perry said. "You can either go one way or another with one golf shot."

Counting the 15th, Perry has an eagle, 16 birdies and only two bogeys in the 40 holes since that shot.

Piercy started the day in a tie for eighth at 6 under. He quickly vaulted to the top of the leaderboard with birdies on eight of the first 13 holes.

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