Steve Stricker opened a six-stroke lead in the U.S. Senior Open on Saturday at Notre Dame, shooting a four-under-par 66 and extending his bogey-free run to 48 holes.
Seeking his second senior major title after winning the Regions Tradition by six shots in May in Alabama, the 52-year-old Stricker had a tournament-record 18-under 192 total on the rain-softened Warren Golf Course in South Bend, Ind.
“Much the same as it was the first two days, just driving it in the fairway,” Stricker said. “Hit some pretty good iron shots into the greens. Just didn’t get into too many problems. That was the key. And if I did, I was able to get it up and down or make a save of some sort.”
He opened with a 62 to tie the tournament record and share the first-round lead with David Toms, then shot a 64 on Friday to take a two-stroke advantage.
“The course toughened up a little bit today,” Stricker said. “The wind was coming from a different direction, kind of a west-northwest to almost a northwest wind, and it played a little bit different. Greens firmed up. Some of the pin locations were a little bit tougher, and you could tell in the scoring too.”
Fellow Madison, Wis., player Jerry Kelly was second after a 70. Kelly beat Stricker and Retief Goosen in a playoff last week in Madison in the PGA Tour Champions event that Stricker hosts.
“I’m going to have to be the aggressor,” Kelly said. “[Sticker] is hitting it long and straight. He’s got a lot less in than me. He can pick apart a golf course. I’m going to have to play flawless. I mean, flawless. And I’m going to have to make a lot of putts.”
Toms was third at 11 under after a 70.
“It just wasn’t very good golf,” Toms said. “I was proud of the way I hung in there, got the ball up and down quite a few times today. I felt like I was in between clubs all day and I was either trying to hit one too hard, too easy, work it one way or the other, and I just never pulled off the shots.”
Bob Estes had a 68 to get to 10 under.
Lashley is ahead by six in Detroit
Nate Lashley shot a bogey-free nine-under 63 to open a six-stroke lead in the Rocket Mortgage Classic in Detroit at 23-under 193.
Lashley, 36, slipped into the field at Detroit Golf Club as an alternate, and the 353rd-ranked player has put himself in position to win for the first time on the PGA Tour. He tied for eighth in February in the Puerto Rico Open — played opposite the World Golf Championships-Mexico Championship — for his only top-10 finish on the tour.
Lashley, the first- and second-round leader, started Saturday with a one-stroke lead and pulled away with the low round of the day.
J.T. Poston (66) was second, and Cameron Tringale (65) was another stroke back.
Park, Ciganda tied for lead in Arkansas
Sung Hyun Park birdied the final two holes for an eight-under 63 and a share of lead with Carlota Ciganda after the second round of the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship in Rogers, Ark.
Park, the second-ranked South Korean star who won the HSBC Women’s World Championship in Singapore in early March for her sixth LPGA Tour title, is coming off a second-place finish last week in Minnesota in the major KPMG Women’s PGA Championship.
Ciganda shot a 66 to match Park at 13-under 129 at Pinnacle Country Club. The Spanish player chipped in from 60 yards for eagle on the par-four first hole and closed with a birdie on the par-five 18th.
First-round leader Inbee Park was tied for third at 11 under, following her opening 62 with a 69. Top-ranked Hyo Joo Kim (64) also was at 11 under with Danielle Kang (63), Linnea Strom(65), Brittany Altomare (65) and Daniela Darquea(65).