Cink and Haas tied at Houston Open

Stewart Cink tees off on the fourth hole

Stewart Cink tees off on the fourth hole during the second round of the Houston Open golf tournament on Friday, March 29, 2013, in Humble, Texas. (AP Photo/Jon Eilts) (Credit: AP Photo Jon Eilts)

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HUMBLE, Texas -- Even as the clouds rolled in at the Houston Open, Stewart Cink started to see some light in his game.

Cink saved par from the bunker on the 18th hole Saturday at Redstone Golf Club for a 4-under 68, giving him a share of the lead with Bill Haas going into the final round. Cink is winless in 75 starts since the British Open at Turnberry in 2009. This is his first time with at least a share of the third-round lead in nearly five years.

One week after he shared the 36-hole lead at Bay Hill, Haas made seven birdies over his last 13 holes for a 67 and was tied with Cink at 11-under 205.

Twenty players were within four shots of the lead. Only three of them -- Dustin Johnson, Keegan Bradley and John Merrick -- have won on the PGA Tour in the last year. And 12 of them can earn a trip to the Masters by winning.

Steve Wheatcroft, the journeyman who only got into this tournament through a Monday qualifier, got off to a good start and fell back with an embarrassing finish. Wheatcroft was tied for the lead when he shanked a shot from the greenside bunker on the 18th, the ball coming out at a 45-degree angle, over the green and almost into the gallery. He made a 15-foot putt to salvage bogey for a 72.

Cink has virtually disappeared since denying Tom Watson at Turnberry in a playoff four years ago, and he has fallen to No. 272 in the world ranking.

"I'll be nervous and I definitely will not be ignoring the fact that I'll feel a little bit nervous tomorrow," he said. "But that's just natural human behavior and I'm looking forward to it. To get back in the hunt is what you play golf for when you're out on the PGA Tour. It's a lot of fun and hard work, but I can't wait."

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