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Els leads, goes for 2nd straight win

ORLANDO, Fla. - Ernie Els is trying to keep his head clear and his game simple.

It seems to be working.

Els finished with two tough pars Saturday at Bay Hill, enough to go from a two-shot deficit to a one-shot lead over Ben Curtis going into the final round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational, and a chance for Els to win his second straight tournament.

"There's a lot of work left," Els said after a 3-under 69, making him the only player to break 70 all three days at Bay Hill.

"Obviously, I'm still in a very good position. I would have taken it before the tournament started. I would like to keep working and just try and concentrate on playing good golf tomorrow." He's playing golf as well as anyone at the moment. Yesterday was the fifth time in the last six rounds Els has been atop the leaderboard, dating to his victory at Doral two weeks ago that ended the longest drought - two years without winning - of his career.

The Big Easy is starting to make golf look that way.

He was at 10-under 206, giving himself a chance to win back-to-back on the PGA Tour for the first time in seven years, and to become the first player since Tiger Woods in 2001 to win twice in the Florida swing.

Curtis looked just as good on a blustery day at Bay Hill. He just didn't finish.

The former British Open champion had a two-shot lead until he chopped up the par-5 16th hole from 60 yards short of the green. He bladed a wedge some 70 feet long and three-putted for bogey on the easiest hole at Bay Hill. Then, he went long on the par-3 17th and chipped off the green for another bogey.

Curtis had to make a 6-foot par putt on the 18th to keep it together with a 70, leaving him one shot behind.

Pavin leads seniors

Corey Pavin birdied his last four holes for a 9-under 63 and a one-shot lead over Nick Price after two rounds of the Champions Tour's $1.6 million Cap Cana Championship.

Pavin had nine birdies in all is at 13-under 131. Price was bogey-free in his second straight round of 66.

Fred Couples and Larry Mize were tied for third at 11-under after both shot 66.

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