Saturday's Golf Capsules
Sunday, February 19, 2012
LOS ANGELES (AP) — One shot clipped an ash tree and kept Phil Mickelson out of worse trouble than he was in. Another landed behind a Bottle Brush, blocking his path to the 10th green at Riviera. On yet another hole, Mickelson had to thread a 9-iron through the limbs of five eucalyptus trees.
So when he walked into the gallery to find his tee shot on the 15th and saw a man flat on his back, Mickelson assumed the worst. Instead, the fan was being still because the ball was in the hem of his shorts.
Despite all these adventures, Mickelson managed a 1-under 70 on Saturday to share the lead with PGA champion Keegan Bradley in the Northern Trust Open.
Bradley took only five putts over the last five holes, including a 10-footer for par on 18 that got him into the final group, for a 66 and his best chance at a win since he captured the PGA Championship in August.
Mickelson and Bradley were at 7-under 206, one shot ahead of Pat Perez (70), Jonathan Byrd (69) and Bryce Molder (66). Mickelson wasn’t the only player on a wild ride along the fabled course off Sunset Boulevard.
Molder one-putted the last eight greens, five of them for par. Perez three-putted from 10 feet on No. 3, and on the next hole took four putts from 60 feet on the fringe, the last three from inside 5 feet. Byrd took only 21 putts in 18 holes, courtesy of only hitting six greens in regulation.
Defending champion Aaron Baddeley had a 66, while Dustin Johnson chopped up the end of his round before a birdie on the 18th that gave him a 67. They were in the group two shots behind, along with FedEx Cup champion Bill Haas, who had a 68. Johnson three-putted from just outside 3 feet on the par-5 17th and made bogey.
Mickelson rallied with a 64 in the final round at Pebble Beach, and to win at Riviera would make him the first player to win consecutive PGA Tour events since Tiger Woods in August 2009.
CHONBURI, Thailand (AP) — Ai Miyazato shot a 7-under 65 to take a one-stroke lead over top-ranked Yani Tseng after the third round of the LPGA Thailand.
Miyazato, the Japanese player who won the 2010 tournament, birdied five of the first six holes on the back nine. She had a 14-under 202 total on Siam Country Club’s Pattaya Old Course.
Tseng, the winner last year, shot her second straight 65 after opening with a 73. The Taiwanese star had 12 worldwide victories last year, seven on the LPGA Tour.
Australia’s Karrie Webb and South Korea’s Jiyai Shin were 12 under. Webb shot a 71, and Shin had a 68.
Webb had a three-stroke lead in the morning after the completion of the lightning-delayed second round, playing the final four holes in 1 under for a 65.
ACE GROUP CLASSIC
NAPLES, Fla. (AP) — Kenny Perry shot a 10-under 62 and break the Champions Tour’s 36-hole scoring record with an 18-under 126 total in the ACE Group Classic.
Perry broke the record of 17 under held by six players. Of those, only Don Pooley in the 2006 MasterCard Championship in Hawaii failed to win. Tom Kite (2001 Gold Rush), Jim Ahern (2003 Music City Invitational), Langer (2007 Administaff Small Business Classic), Russ Cochran (2011 Mitsubishi Electric Championship), and Fred Couples (2011 AT&T Championship) also were 17 under.
Perry made five birdies on the front nine on The TwinEagles Club’s Talon Course, and six more on the back.
First-round leader Larry Mize was three strokes back after a 67.
Tom Lehman was 14 under after a 66, and Bernhard Langer, the winner last year at The Quarry, was another shot back after a 65.
NEW ZEALAND WOMEN’S OPEN
CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand (AP) — Australia’s Lindsey Wright birdied the par-5 18th for a 4-under 68 and a one-stroke victory Sunday in the New Zealand Women’s Open.
Wright finished at 10-under 206 at Pegasus Golf Club in the event sanctioned by the Ladies European Tour and Australian Ladies Professional Golf. The former Pepperdine player is a regular on the LPGA Tour,
American Alison Walshe and Australia’s Jessica Speechley tied for second. Walshe closed with a 69, and Speechley had a 65. Canada’s Lorie Kane and Australia’s Stephanie Na shot 69 to tie for fourth at 8 under.
Fourteen-year-old Lydia Ko, part of a six-way tie for the second-round lead, shot a 74 to tie for 17th at 4 under. The South Korean-born New Zealander, 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.
NEW DELHI (AP) — South Africa’s Jbe Kruger shot a 6-under 66 in the third round of the Avantha Masters to take a one-shot lead in the European Tour event.
Kruger had two eagles and two birdies in his bogey-free round to finish at 11-under 205. Germany’s Marcel Siem (68), France’s Jean-Baptiste Gonnet (69) and Scotland’s Peter Whiteford (72) were tied for second.