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Golf: Harold Varner and Kelly Kraft tied for lead at Greenbrier

Harold Varner shot a four-under 66 Saturday to tie second-round leader Kelly Kraft at the top entering the final round of A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier in West Virginia.

Varner had four back-nine birdies on the Old White TPC Course after 10 consecutive pars. Kraft led by as many as four strokes but bogeyed two of the final three holes and shot one-under 69.

Both were at 14-under 196.

Fifteen golfers were within five shots of the lead. Defending champion Xander Schauffele and Kevin Na were at 13 under. Both shot 65. Kraft and Varner are looking for their first PGA Tour wins in their 85th starts. Since this tournament debuted in 2010, there have been four first-time champions, but no third-round leader has won.

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Sei Young Kim sets 72-hole mark at 24 under at LPGA Classic

Sei Young Kim shot an eight-under-par 64 in the third round of Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic on Saturday to tie the 54-hole record of 24 under and take a commanding eight-stroke lead.

Kim, who had a 63 on Thursday and a 65 on Friday, got rolling with an eagle on No. 3 and added six birdies. A birdie on No. 16 tied Annika Sorenstam’s 24 under at the Mizuno Classic in Japan in 2003. After Kim missed a long birdie putt on the par-three 17th, she hit her tee shot on the 390-yard 18th into the left rough. Her approach was well short of the hole, and her birdie putt missed badly. She made a testy putt to save par.

Kim will take aim at Sorenstam’s 72-hole record of 27-under par, set at the Standard Register Ping in 2001 in Phoenix. Kim will need a four-under 68 on Sunday to break that record.

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Amy Yang is a distant second at 16 under after shooting a five-under 67. Eight players are within two shots of Yang but 10 shots of the record-setting Kim.

South Africa’s Van Rooyen leads Irish Open by four

South African golfer Erik van Rooyen left behind his overnight co-leaders to grab a commanding four-shot lead going into the final day of the Irish Open on Saturday.

Van Rooyen began the third round in a three-way tie for the lead, but stormed to the turn in just 29 shots on his way to a superb six-under-par 66 to finish 14 under.

He’s four shots ahead of Joakim Lagergren of Sweden (69) and Ryan Fox of New Zealand (70).

Former Masters champion Danny Willett (69) was five shots off the pace after recovering from a poor start with the aid of four birdies in a row on the back nine, and Lee Westwood was seven behind after a 70.

Defending champion Jon Rahm of Spain was eight shots off the lead after a 67 which included a front nine of 30, and tournament host Rory McIlroy was 13 adrift following a 72.

Van Rooyen, seeking a first European Tour title, made the ideal start at Ballyliffin with birdies on the first and second before picking up further shots on the fourth, seventh, eighth and ninth. “I wasn’t very much aware of my score or the situation,” Van Rooyen said. “You sometimes get in a groove as a golfer where things just happen and you hit great shots and great putts and that’s what happened.”

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