Golf: Esteban Toledo takes Champions lead
Esteban Toledo birdied four of the last six holes for a six-under 66 and the second-round lead Saturday in the American Family Insurance Championship.
Five strokes behind tournament host Steve Stricker after an opening 69 in rain Friday at University Ridge, Toledo had six birdies in a bogey-free round to reach nine-under 135. The 55-year-old Mexican player won the last of his four PGA Tour Champions titles in 2016.
Defending champion Fred Couples (67), David Toms (66), Kent Jones (67) and Billy Mayfair (68) were a stroke back.
“I’m surprised that someone isn’t 11 or 12 under, but the greens picked up a lot of pace today,” Couples said. “I think maybe the scoring was a little easier yesterday because we got to clean the ball in the fairways, but it’s not easy out there.”
Bernhard Langer (69) was eight under with Madison player Jerry Kelly (69), Scott McCarron (67), Mark Calcavecchia (68), Paul Goydos (68), Joey Sindelar (68), Glen Day (69) and Brad Bryant (72).
“The conditions haven’t been that easy,” Kelly said. “The pins are in some spots where you can’t spin it and you have to hit them firm out of these kind of soft fairways, otherwise you could chunk it. It’s not that easy even though the course is gettable. There’s just a few things going on out there to keep the scoring from going too low like it normally does.”
Stricker followed his opening 64 with a 74, ending his Champions under-par streak at 30 rounds — the fourth-longest streak in tour history.
“It just was one of those days where I didn’t have a lot of energy,” Stricker said. “Nothing — hit very few good shots, really. The couple that I did hit well, I was in bad spots, and a couple bad shots even got worse.”
He had three bogeys and a birdie — on the final hole.
“That was a big birdie in my mind,” Stricker said. “It kept me a little bit closer. No one ran away with this thing today and three shots back, a lot of guys in between me and the lead. It was a good putt to make and finally get a birdie. That was my only one today.”
Stricker won in Arizona and Mississippi in consecutive starts in May for his first senior victories. The 12-time PGA Tour winner played the big tour the last two weeks, tying for 18th in Memphis and tying for 20th in the U.S. Open.
John Daly matched Stricker at six under with a 70.
Paul Casey shoots 62 to take four-shot lead in Travelers
Paul Casey shot an eight-under 62 on Saturday to take a four-stroke lead into the final round of the Travelers Championship.
The Valspar winner in Florida in March for his first PGA Tour title in nine years, Casey called the bogey-free round at TPC River Highlands his best of the year.
The Englishman had six birdies and an eagle — at the signature par-four 15th hole — to reach 16-under 194. He broke out of the pack by hitting all 18 greens and has a streak of 23 straight heading into Sunday.
Russell Henley was 12 under after a 67, and J.B. Holmes, Anirban Lahiri and third-round leader Brain Harman were 11 under. Jason Day shot 66, and Bubba Watson 67. Leaving them 10 under. Watson came from six back to the 200 event, and beat Casey in a playoff in 2015.
Defending champion Jordan Spieth was three under after a 71. He opened 63-73.
Bjerregaard, Kaymer among six BMW International Open leaders
Danish golfer Lucas Bjerregaard shot a five-under 67 to equal the week’s lowest round for a six-way share of the lead after the third round of the BMW International Open on Saturday.
Bjerregaard had eight birdies, a double bogey and a bogey to finish on five-under 211 — jumping 23 places and joining local favorites Martin Kaymer and Maximilian Kieffer, England’s Chris Paisley and Aaron Rai, and Australia’s Scott Hend at the top of the leaderboard.
Bjerregaard was fortunate to play before the wind picked up again later in the afternoon.
Kaymer, the 2008 champion, delighted the home supporters with two birdies in his last three holes for a 71.
Finland’s Mikko Korhonen and Chile’s Nico Geyger were one shot off the lead after rounds of 69 and 73, respectively.
Defending champion Andres Romero equaled the week’s best round (67) to be among a large group two shots off the lead going into Sunday, including three-time European Tour winner Andy Sullivan. Romero is bidding to be the first player to retain the title.
Lee, Hataoka tied after 2 rounds at NW Arkansas Championship
Minjee Lee and Nasa Hataoka each shot six-under 65 on Saturday to share the second-round lead in the NW Arkansas Championship.
Lee, the Volvik Championship last month in Michigan, bogeyed her final hole to drop into a tie with the 19-year-old Japanese player at 13-under 129. The 22-year-old Australian is ranked ninth in the world and in search of her fifth career victory.
Third-ranked Lexi Thompson matched the low round of the day with a 64 to get to 11 under.
Ariya Jutanugarn and Celine Boutier were 10 under.
First-round leader Gaby Lopez followed her opening 63 with a 75 to drop to four under. Fellow former Arkansas star Stacy Lewis also was four under after a 72.
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