CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Rory Sabbatini holed out for eagle from the first fairway yesterday and picked up even more ground with a birdie on the final hole in the Wachovia Championship, giving him a share of the course record with an 8-under-par 64 and a final pairing with Tiger Woods.

Sabbatini, Vijay Singh and Arron Oberholser made eagle from the fairway, and players jockeyed for position along the back nine with an array of birdies that brought Quail Hollow to life on a gray afternoon.

Woods took bogey on his final two holes and had to settle for a 68.

Phil Mickelson challenged for the lead until a peculiar decision to hit a hybrid club from thick grass on the slope above a creek, hitting into the water to take double bogey on the 18th. Oberholser was tied for the lead until his fairway bunker shot found the creek on the 18th, and he finished with a double bogey.

Singh nearly went into the creek, then rolled up his pants to his knees to stand in the water and play out of the hazard. He nearly escaped with par, but his 45-foot putt caught the left edge of the cup.

Sabbatini was at 11-under 205 and will be in the final group with Woods, who saved bogey from the creek and was a shot behind.

Singh roared to life with a birdie-birdie-eagle start to his back nine, and wound up with a 69 and was at 207. He will be paired with Oberholser, who shot 69.

Steve Stricker shot 66 and was at 208 with Ken Duke (68).


BROKEN ARROW, Okla. - Lorena Ochoa got off to an eagle-birdie start, but a double bogey at No. 15 spoiled her round and left the top-ranked Mexican star 3 strokes behind leaders Stephanie Louden, Nicole Castrale, Karin Sjodin and Reilley Rankin in the SemGroup Championship.

The four leaders, tied at 4-under 138, are seeking their first LPGA Tour win.

Rankin shot a 3-under 68, Louden a 69, Sjodin a 70 and Castrale a 71 at Cedar Ridge Golf Club.

Seven players were 3 strokes back, including Juli Inkster (70) and Ochoa (71), who took over the No. 1 ranking from Annika Sorenstam last week.

Champions Tour

LAKEWAY, Texas - Scott Hoch moved into position for his first Champions Tour victory, shooting a 6-under 66 to take a 3-stroke lead over D.A. Weibring into the final round of the FedEx Kinko's Classic.

Hoch, the only player in the field without a bogey in the first two days, had an 11-under 133 total on the Hills Country Club course. The 51-year-old player won 11 times on the PGA Tour.

European Tour

MILAN, Italy - South African Andrew McLardy shot his second consecutive 7-under 65 to take a 1-stroke lead in the Italian Open, which was reduced to 54 holes after play was cut short because of lightning at the Castello di Tolcinasco Golf and Country Club.