Change at the Top of Schwab Championship - Lehman Now Leads

Tom Lehman fired an 8-under 62 to take over the lead from Jay Haas through 54 holes of the Charles Schwab Cup Championship. The $2.5 million tournament, the season-ending event on the Champions Tour, began Thursday on the Cochise Course at Desert Mountain Golf Club in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Lehman overtook Haas, who began the third round with a five-stroke lead, thanks to eight birdies and 12 pars. He stands at 17-under 193, a shot ahead of Fred Couples.

If the 53-year-old Minnesotan pulls off the victory on Sunday he will win the season-long Charles Schwab Cup for the second year in a row.

He'll be paired in the final round with Couples, who also shot a 62. Couples' round Saturday also featured some fireworks, but in the form of four birdies and two eagles on the eighth and 15th holes - both par-5s.

Despite taking two months off prior to the tournament to rest and treat his chronically bad back, Couples hasn't missed a beat this week, posting rounds of 66, 66 and 62 to get to 16-under. "Very happy with the way I played today," Couples said at greenside. "I felt I hit the ball well today and I need to do that tomorrow."

Added Couples, "I knew I needed a good round to have a shot (at victory on Sunday)."

Two strokes behind Lehman is Haas, who followed up his scintillating 60 on Friday with a 69. The 58-year-old carded four birdies and three bogeys Saturday.

Alone in fourth at 200 is the tournament's defending champion, Jay Don Blake, who carded a 65, while in solo fifth another stroke back is Russ Cochran, who shot a 64.

Fred Funk (66), Mark Calcavecchia (68), David Frost (68) and Olin Browne (69) are tied for sixth at 202. Sharing 10th at 204 are Corey Pavin (69), Michael Allen (69), Bill Glasson (69) and Bernhard Langer (70).

Before the start of the Charles Schwab Cup Championship, Langer held a 211-point edge over Lehman in the season-long Cup points' race.

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