Charley Hoffman takes two-stroke lead at RBC Heritage

Charley Hoffman takes two-stroke lead at RBC Heritage
Charley Hoffman follows through on his drive at No. 3 during the third round of the RBC Heritage golf tournament Saturday.
(Stephen Morton / Associated Press)

Charley Hoffman’s quick start gave him a two-shot lead over U.S. Open champion Webb Simpson after three rounds of the RBC Heritage on Saturday at Hilton Head Island, S.C.

Hoffman had four birdies on his first five holes to shoot a bogey-free five-under 66 and keep out front at 11 under on a windy, cool day at Harbour Town Golf Links. Simpson also didn’t make a bogey on the way to a 65, tying the lowest round of the tournament.


Kevin Streelman shot a 69 and was alone in third at eight under.

The round started with 91 players making the cut, tying the tour high set in 1981 at the Travelers Championship. Jesper Parnevik moved the cut line Saturday morning to two over as he missed a five-footer to complete his rain-delayed second round and opened the door for 21 players to keep playing.


Brendon de Jonge and Graeme McDowell were tied at seven-under par, four shots off the lead. De Jonge shot a 67, and McDowell had a 68.

Suzann Pettersen won the LPGA Lotte Championship at Kapolei, Hawaii, beating Lizette Salas with a par on the first hole of a playoff after Salas chunked her approach shot into the water.

Pettersen, the leader after the second and third rounds at Ko Olina, bogeyed the final hole of regulation to set up the playoff on the par-four 18th. The 32-year-old Norwegian closed with a five-under 67, and Salas had a tournament-record 62 to finish at 19-under 269. Salas had a double bogey on the playoff hole.

Esteban Toledo, a rookie looking for his first win on the Champions Tour, has a one-stroke lead heading into the final round of the Greater Gwinnett Championship in Duluth, Ga.


Toledo, from Mexicali, Mexico, completed his first-round 68 early Saturday before shooting a two-under 70 in the second round. Bernhard Langer shot a 66 that left him in a four-way tie for second with Roger Chapman, Tom Pernice Jr. and Mark Calcavecchia.

Michael Allen took the first-round lead by completing a 67 early Saturday. He lost the lead in the second round when he called a two-stroke penalty on himself for removing an embedded pine cone on No. 4. Allen added another double bogey on No. 5 before recovering for a 73 that left him 4 under and two strokes behind the leader.

Mark Warren of Scotland shot a four-under 68 to take a two-shot lead at eight-under 208 after the third round of the Spanish Open.

Craig Lee of Scotland is two strokes back after a 70, with Englishmen David Horsey (66) and Paul Waring (69) another shot behind.


American Peter Uihlein led entering the day but only managed a 74 to fall four shots back. Sergio Garcia is seven shots off the lead after a 70.

Serena Williams evened the United States’ Fed Cup World Group playoff match against Sweden, waiting out a long rain delay to beat Johanna Larsson, 6-2, 6-2, at Delray Beach, Fla. In the opening match, Sweden’s Sofia Arvidsson beat Sloane Stephens, 6-4, 4-6, 6-1.

Novak Djokovic will have a crack at toppling Rafael Nadal in the Monte Carlo Masters final for a second straight year.

Despite their respective injury concerns, they will meet in Monaco for the 16th time in a championship. Nadal leads 8-7 in their finals.

“I am not the kind of player who is stupid and says, ‘I want to play against the best,’ ” Nadal said jokingly. He said he would rather face an easier opponent on Sunday.

Nadal can improve upon his formidable record on the Monte Carlo red clay — winner of the last eight titles and 46 consecutive match victories. He defeated Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, 6-3, 7-6 (3) in the semifinals on Saturday to set up a rematch with Djokovic.

The Spaniard has reached five successive finals since returning from a seven-month layoff for a left knee injury. He will go for his fourth title of the season against Djokovic, who cruised past unseeded Fabio Fognini of Italy, 6-2, 6-1.

The No. 1 player showed no sign his right ankle was bothering him, two weeks after twisting it during a Davis Cup match against the United States.

Djokovic and Nadal have not played against each other since last year’s French Open final, which Nadal won. He has won their last three encounters, after Djokovic took the previous seven — all of which were tournament finals. Nadal leads their head-to-head contests 19-14.

Lady Of Shamrock took up sharply in deep stretch and finished second in the $150,000 Santa Barbara Handicap at Santa Anita, beaten 11/2 lengths by longshot Viva Carina, but was subsequently placed first after a stewards’ inquiry.

Ridden by Rafael Bejarano, Lady of Shamrock had dead aim on pacesetter Viva Carina and Victor Espinoza, but had to take up sharply with a sixteenth of a mile left, costing her a chance at victory.

In the $100,000 San Simeon Stakes, Chips All In ran down even-money favorite Obviously in deep stretch to win by a half-length under Tyler Baze.

Matt Crafton charged to the lead in a crash-filled race at Kansas Speedway, and then held off a late run by Joey Coulter to pick up his third career Truck Series victory Saturday at Kansas City, Kan.

Crafton and Coulter were engaged in a spirited game of cat-and-mouse over the final 20 laps, but Crafton held onto his truck-length lead as they crossed the start-finish line, allowing him to celebrate his first win since Iowa in 2011 with a burnout that tore up one of his rear tires.

Coulter chased him across to finish second. Ryan Blaney got around Brendan Gaughan on the final lap to finish third, and Johnny Sauter rounded out the top five.

Benson Henderson kept his UFC lightweight crown with a split decision in San Jose over Gilbert Melendez in a fight that lived up to its promise.

Henderson has won all seven of his UFC bouts and is 19-2 overall, while Melendez, the top challenger, showed he deserves another chance at the title despite making his UFC debut. He’s 21-3 overall.

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