Thursday's Golf Capsules
Friday, September 21, 2012
ATLANTA (AP) — Tiger Woods sure didn't look intimidated Thursday in the Tour Championship.
Woods kept the ball in play at East Lake and chipped in for one of his six birdies on his way to a 4-under 66 that gave him a share of the lead with Justin Rose. It was the first step toward what Woods hopes is another FedEx Cup title, and another $10 million bonus.
Rory McIlroy, playing with Woods for the fifth time in these playoffs, saved par on the last hole for a 69.
The week began with Greg Norman saying that Woods was intimidated by McIlroy, a suggestion that both players found amusing. While it's doubtful that inspired Woods, he played as if he wasn't ready to let McIlroy win a third straight playoff event and capture the FedEx Cup.
McIlroy, who has won three of his last four tournaments, and Woods are among the top five seeds at East Lake who only have to win the Tour Championship to claim the largest payoff in golf. Woods wasn't interested in what anyone else was doing.
"Just winning," he said. "Winning takes care of everything."
Rose, who hasn't won since the World Golf Championship at Doral in March, swiftly moved up the leaderboard late in his round with three birdies over the last five holes.
Scott Piercy ran off three straight birdies late in his round until he stumbled in the rough behind the 18th green and finished with a double bogey for a 67, tied with Steve Stricker, Matt Kuchar and Bo Van Pelt. Stricker was the only player in the 30-man field without a bogey.
Hunter Mahan appeared to snap out of his funk from missing out on the Ryder Cup with a 68, tied with a group that included Brandt Snedeker, who is among the top five seeds. The others are Phil Mickelson, who opened with a 69, and Nick Watney, who brought up the rear with a 75.
NAVISTAR LPGA CLASSIC
PRATTVILLE, Ala. (AP) — Lexi Thompson made a little more history in the Navistar LPGA Classic, opening her title defense with a career-best 9-under 63 to match the tournament record.
Last year, Thompson became the youngest champion in LPGA Tour history at age 16, winning by five strokes. Fifteen-year-old amateur Lydia Ko broke the record last month in the Canadian Women's Open.
Thompson had nine birdies in her bogey-free round on the links-style Senator course at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail's Capitol Hill complex. She missed only one green in regulation and had 26 putts.
Lizette Salas and Hee Young Park were tied for second at 65, and third-ranked Stacy Lewis was another stroke back along with Karen Stupples, Amanda Blumenherst, Wendy Ward and Mi Hyang Lee.
Top-ranked Yani Tseng and Michelle Wie were eight strokes behind at 71.