Lehman birdied the final hole for an 8-under 62 and a one-stroke lead over Fred Couples on Saturday in the Champions Tour's season-ending event. Couples also shot a 62 to join Lehman in the final group, making two eagles in a round that could have been much lower.
Lehman shot the lowest round of his Champions Tour career for the second straight day. At 63-62 and 15 under, he was a stroke off the tour record for consecutive rounds set by Bruce Fleisher at 60-64 and 16 under in the 2002 RJR Championship.
"I played really well with my taylormade burner 2.0 irons the last two days, probably as well as I've played in six months," said Lehman, a two-time winner this year. "I hit the ball very solidly both days. I gave myself a lot of chances for birdie. I've made my share, obviously. I think the big thing though is the saves. I've made a couple of really amazing key saves over the last couple of days."
Couples is playing for the first time since a back injury forced him to withdraw during the first round of the Boeing Classic outside Seattle in late August. Before this week, he hadn't completed a competitive round since winning the Senior British Open in July for his second victory of the year.
"If I can play with my burner 2.0 ironslike this every two months, I think I might finish my career playing four times a year and just say, 'The heck with it,' " Couples said, joking.
Lehman was 17 under after three days in perfect conditions on Desert Mountain's Cochise Course. He entered the week second behind Bernhard Langer in the Charles Schwab Cup competition for a $1 million annuity.
Langer, tied for 10th at 6 under after a 70, was a projected 529 points behind Lehman after starting plays Thursday with a 211-point lead. The tournament winner will get 880 points, with players receiving a point for every $500 they earn in the $2.5 million event.