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Cochran makes lead look simple

Russ Cochran doesn't have any experience holding a four-stroke lead entering the final round of a Champions Tour event like the one he brings into today's final round of the SAS Championship at Prestonwood Country Club.

Until he won two weeks ago in Korea, Cochran hadn't won on either the PGA Tour or Champions Tour in more than 19 years, so his recent run at the top of leader boards has taken some getting used to.

Cochran can take comfort in what he learned about himself halfway around the world earlier this month.

"It affords me a little more patience," said Cochran, who starts the final round four ahead of Ted Schulz.

"I've tried way too hard (in the past). I know you can try too hard...But I know I can win. You still have to hit the shots and make the putts but it can be done."

Cochran has made it look simple.

His 13-under-par 131 total equals the 36-hole tournament record as does his four-stroke lead entering the final round. Cochran is the only player in the field without a bogey through two rounds.

Schulz birdied the 18th hole Saturday afternoon to move into second place alone, while defending champion Tom Pernice Jr., John Cook (who shot 64 Saturday) and Nick Price are tied at 8-under par.

With the expectation of significantly cooler temperatures and possible rain today, Cochran and everyone chasing him will likely face a different Prestonwood course than the firm, fast layout they've played the first two days. Cochran said the changing conditions will add another layer to his challenge today.

"I don't feel like I can just show up and get on with the rhythm and routine of the round like I did the last two days," Cochran said. "I have to be on my toes."

For Cochran, that means handling the first nine holes solidly. Though he hasn't made a bogey, Cochran said the opening holes are difficult for him.

"It keeps me kind of off balance," Cochran said. "If I can play a solid seven or eight holes, that would go a long way."

Schulz had also gone 19 years since his last tour victory when he won the Champions Tour event at Pebble Beach three weeks ago. He had a party at home in Louisville, Ky., and enjoyed a two-week break before coming to Cary.

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