Friday's Golf Capsules
Saturday, February 18, 2012
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Phil Mickelson wasn’t at his best Friday at Riviera. Two shots at least helped him stay in the lead.
Despite having only two birdie chances inside 15 feet, Mickelson holed out from the eighth fairway for eagle and chipped in for birdie on the par-3 16th. That carried him to a 1-under 70 and a one-shot lead over Pat Perez in the Northern Trust Open.
Mickelson made three par saves from outside 10 feet, starting with his opening hole at the par-4 10th. He went from the front bunker to the back bunker, blasted out safely to 18 feet and curled in the par putt.
Perez had a tournament-best 65, without a bogey on his card, and he saved his best shot for the final hole. He hit his tee shot on the 18th and was too far right, the green blocked by the eucalyptus trees. Perez cut a 6-iron, hopeful of finding the green, and it wound up 12 feet away for a birdie he wasn’t expecting.
Mickelson was at 6-under 136, assured of being atop the leaderboard for the third straight round.
The group at 4-under 138 included Jimmy Walker (66), Carl Pettersson (70), Jonathan Byrd (70), Marc Leishman (69) and Matt Kuchar (69.
As usual, the 144-man could not finish before darkness. Eight players will have to return Saturday morning to finish, with the cut likely to be at 3-over 145.
Mickelson and Perez will be in the final group, both of whom grew up playing each other in San Diego. This is different. Perez hasn’t missed a cut this year on the West Coast Swing, but has only one career win. Mickelson is going for his 41st, and trying to become the first player since Tiger Woods in 2009 to win consecutive tour events. Mickelson is coming off a big win last week at Pebble Beach.
CHONBURI, Thailand (AP) — Karrie Webb had a birdie and three pars Saturday in the completion of the lightning-delayed second round of the LPGA Thailand to increase her lead to three strokes.
Webb finished with a 7-under 65 to reach 11 under on Siam Country Club’s Pattaya Old Course. The Australian aced the 159-yard 12th hole with a 6-iron Friday and followed with a bogey and a par before play was called for the day. She also birdied the final four holes on the front nine.
South Koreans Jiyai Shin and Na Yeon Choi were tied for second. Shin completed her 66 on Friday. Choi finished off a 68 on Saturday, matching Webb with a birdie on the par-4 17th.
Norway’s Suzann Pettersen (67), Sweden’s Caroline Hedwall (65), South Korea’s Amy Yang (69) and Japan’s Ai Miyazato (70) were 7 under. Pettersen and Hedwall finished Friday. Yang played four holes Saturday, and Miyazato finished the final five.
Top-ranked Yani Tseng, the defending champion, topped the group at 6 under with a 65. The Taiwanese star finished the round Friday.
Michelle Wie followed her opening 75 with a 68 on Friday to reach 1 under.
ACE GROUP CLASSIC
NAPLES, Fla. (AP) — Larry Mize made a 35-foot eagle putt on the par-5 17th and closed with a birdie for a 10-under 62 and two-stroke lead in the Champions Tour’s ACE Group Classic.
Mize, the 1987 Masters Champion, had a bogey-free round on The TwinEagles Club’s Talon Course. The 62 matched his lowest round in a PGA Tour-sanctioned event.
Tom Lehman, Kenny Perry and Russ Cochran shot 64, Mike Goodes had a 65, and defending champion Bernhard Langer was another stroke back along with Jay Haas and Michael Allen. Langer won last year at The Quarry.
NEW DELHI (AP) — Scotland’s Peter Whiteford shot a 4-under 68 to take a two-stroke lead over Thailand’s Prom Meesawat after the second round of the Avantha Masters.
Whiteford had a 10-under 134 total at DLF Golf & Country Club.
Meesawat shot a 64. Australia’s Kieran Pratt had a 66 to join France’s Jean-Baptiste Gonnet (69) and Thailand’s Chapchai Nirat (67) and Kiradech Aphibarnrat (69) at 7 under.
John Daly withdrew after injuring his right elbow in a first-round 79.
NEW ZEALAND WOMEN’S OPEN
CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand (AP) — Fourteen-year-old amateur Lydia Ko shot her second straight 3-under 69 on Saturday for a share of second-round lead in the New Zealand Women’s Open.
Ko, the world’s top-ranked amateur, became the youngest winner of a professional tour event last month in the Women’s New South Wales Open in Australia. She briefly held the outright lead before a bogey on the par-17th dropped her into a six-way tie at 6 under at Pegasus Golf Club.
Ko was tied with Colombia’s Mariajo Uribe (68), Australia’s Lindsey Wright (68), South Korea’s Haeji Kang (69), American Alison Walshe (70) and Spain’s Carlotta Ciganda (69).
Canadian star Lorie Kane (67) was a stroke back along with Americans Cindy Lacrosse (67) and Gerina Piller (71) and Australians Julia Boland (68) and Stephanie Na (69).
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