Sports

Russell Henley leads in Massachusetts, with Rory McIlroy in the hunt

Russell Henley's birdie tear helps him lead Deutsche Bank Championship, but many are within striking distance

Russell Henley made five birdies in a seven-hole stretch Sunday on his way to a six-under 65, giving him a one-shot lead in the Deutsche Bank Championship going into a Labor Day finish loaded with possibilities.

And that includes Rory McIlroy.

Coming off a week that was pedestrian by his standards, McIlroy got right back into the mix at the TPC Boston at Norton, Mass., with his power and great iron play for a 64, leaving him just two shots behind on a crowded leaderboard.

"I've been in this position quite a lot recently," McIlroy said. "So I know how it's going to feel tomorrow."

Ten players were separated by four shots, and six of them already have won this season.

Henley was at 12-under 201. He will play in the final group with Billy Horschel, who birdied his last three holes for a 67.

Chris Kirk went toe-to-toe with McIlroy in the third round and matched his 64, coming within inches of an eagle on the final hole. They will play together again Monday.

McIlroy won the British Open, a World Golf Championship and the PGA Championship to assert himself at No. 1 in the world. He had a chance to win early in the season until a late collapse in the Honda Classic, where Henley won the four-man playoff.

"He's obviously a tough guy to beat," Henley said. "But like I said, there's a lot of tough guys to beat. Rory has had a heck of a run and I'm sure he'll continue that."

Ernst wins LPGA's Portland Classic

Austin Ernst won the LPGA Tour's Portland (Ore.) Classic with a par on the first hole of a playoff against South Korea's I.K. Kim.

It was the first professional victory for the 22-year-old Ernst, who shot a five-under 67 in the final round to get to 14 under at Columbia Edgewater. Kim, the first- and second-round leader, carded a 68.

Kim missed an eight-foot par putt in the playoff that handed the win to the American.

A year ago as a rookie in Portland, Ernst shot a third-round 62 on the way to a ninth-place finish. In Ernst's mind, Columbia Edgewater was a likely place for her first career win.

"A lot of good memories coming into this year. I was very confident coming in, knowing I could make a lot of birdies," Ernst said. "

Ernst pulled into contention with a five-under 31 on the front nine, highlighted by a chip-in eagle at the par-five fifth. Kim made four birdies and no bogeys.

South Korean's So Yeon Ryu and Chella Choi tied for third at 12 under. Ryu, last week's Canadian Women's Open winner, shot 70, while Choi had a 68.

The three third-round leaders faded. South Korea's Mi Jung Hur shot 73 to finish at 10 under, while defending champion Suzann Pettersen of Norway and Spain's Carlota Ciganda were at nine under after 74s.

Fred Couples triumphs in Canada

Fred Couples won the Champions Tour's Shaw Charity Classic at Calgary, Canada, chipping in for eagle for a course-record nine-under 61 and beating Billy Andrade with a tap-in birdie on the first hole of a playoff.

"It never came into my mind about winning the tournament until really maybe the 15th, 16th holes," said Couples, four strokes back entering the round.

The 54-year-old Couples also eagled the par-five 11th and had five birdies in his third straight bogey-free round at Canyon Meadows.

Andrade shot 62, making a short eagle putt on the par-five 18th to match Couples at 15 under.

Couples holed out from 40 feet for the eagle in regulation on 18.

He broke the course record of 62 set by Bill Glasson last year in the inaugural tournament and matched by Tom Pernice Jr. and Bart Bryant in the first round Friday.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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