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Furyk takes first 54-hole lead in nearly 3 years

PALM HARBOR, Fla. - Jim Furyk has gone 58 tournaments over 32 months without winning on the PGA Tour. That doesn't make the final round of the Transitions Championship any more important than it would have been in good times.

"It's not really, 'I want to show you' or anything like that," Furyk said after shooting a 4-under 67 to open a three-shot lead. "It's more that I just want to win a golf tournament."

Furyk has heard one question - "What has kept you from winning?" - far too often since his victory in the 2007 Canadian Open. With a round as flawless as the spring weather in Florida, he put himself in great position to answer it. He made consecutive birdies early on the back nine, and kept bogeys off his card for his first 54-hole lead in nearly three years.

"It's not really a monkey-off-my-back perspective or 'Boy, I can't wait to not answer that question again,"' Furyk said. "It's just that I want to go out and win a golf tournament. That's what we play golf for. That's what I practice hard for. And I haven't been able to do that in over 2 1/2 years.

Furyk was at 11-under 202, with a strong group of contenders behind him. Defending champion Retief Goosen birdied the last hole that gave him a 1-under 70, part of four-way tie for second. The others at 8-under 205 were two past champions at Innisbrook - K.J. Choi (67) and Carl Pettersson (70) - and Bubba Watson. He scrambled for a 70.

Padraig Harrington, a three-time major champion who hasn't won since the 2008 PGA Championship, went 14 holes without a birdie to fall out of the lead, then dropped another shot on the 18th hole for a 72 that left him four shots behind.

Geoff Ogilvy, the former U.S. Open champion, shot a 6-under 65, an amazing considering the cross-country flight that preceded it. Thinking he had missed the cut, Ogilvy wound up flying home to Arizona and turning around within an hour to get back to Tampa in time for the third round at Innisbrook.

"It was worth coming back," Ogilvy said.

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