Jimenez keeps lead with birdie on 18

Miguel Angel Jimenez of Spain made a birdie on the final hole to shoot 2-under-par 70 and take a one-stroke lead over defending champion Bernhard Langer into the final round of the Greater Gwinnett Championship in wind and rain at TPC Sugarloaf.

Jimenez, trying to become the second straight player to win in his debut on the Champions Tour after Jeff Maggert did it last month in the Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic, is coming off a fourth place finish in the Masters last week.

“When you come in from a major like the Masters and you are playing well there, you are like in tune, you know?” said Jimenez, who has won 23 times as a pro and turned 50 in January.

Langer, looking for his 20th victory on the senior circuit after tying for eighth last week at Augusta, three-putted for a par on the final hole to close out a 68 that included a bogey at No. 8 and five birdies on the back nine.

Fred Couples, who tied for 20th in the Masters, made his only bogey on the first hole and recorded five birdies in a 68 to climb into third, two shots back, and get into the final threesome with Jimenez and Langer.

“That’s about as good a pairing as you’re going to get,” said Couples, who has won 10 times on the Champions Tour. “I’m thrilled about that, to have a shot at winning.”

Duffy Waldorf of Northridge and UCLA shot 68 and was tied for fourth, four strokes back, with Jay Haas, who also had a 68, Steve Pate of Ventura and UCLA, who finished at 71, Chien Soon Lu of Taiwan, who totaled 68, and Kenny Perry, who came in at 71. .

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