Brendan Steele maintains Frys.com Open lead with a 70
Brendan Steele felt no different about his game Friday than when he tied the course record with a 63 in his opening round at the Frys.com Open in Napa, Calif. The difference was seven shots. What didn’t change was his position on the leaderboard.
Steele had to settle for pars on the closing three holes at Silverado that tend to produce birdies, giving him a two-under 70 on a course that was getting firmer and featured much stronger pin positions.
“I expected today to be tough,” said Steele, who was at 11-under 133. “And it’s always tough to follow up a round like yesterday with anything even under par. I think we’ve seen guys over the years follow 63 up usually with something around par. If you can go lower than that, you probably have a pretty good-sized lead.”
He’ll take the two-shot margin over Will Wilcox (67), Jhonattan Vegas (71), Graham DeLaet (68) and Harold Varner III (70), who missed a 10-foot birdie putt on his final hole that would have put him in the final group on the weekend in his rookie debut.
One thing didn’t change for Rory McIlroy. He can’t seem to make a putt.
McIlroy, the No. 3 player in the world, shot 71 and was six shots behind. Considering how many putts he missed, it felt like an even greater margin.
Ko takes lead at LPGA event
Lydia Ko took advantage of Sung Hyun Park’s struggles to take the lead Friday in the LPGA KEB Hana Bank Championship in Incheon, South Korea.
The second-ranked Ko made an 18-foot birdie putt on the final hole for a seven-under 65 and a one-stroke lead over Lexi Thompson. Park followed her course-record 62 with a 74 to drop two shots behind.
Ko moved into position to regain the No. 1 spot in the world from South Korean star Inbee Park, one of her playing partners Friday. The South Korean-born New Zealander Ko would take the top spot with a victory and also could move up under other scenarios depending on where Inbee Park finishes.
Ko had a 10-under 134 total on Sky 72’s Ocean Course. She tied for second last week in the LPGA Malaysia after winning her previous two starts in Canada and France, where she became the youngest major champion.
Inbee Park was tied for 25th at three under after a 72.
Thompson birdied three of the final four holes for a 67. South Korea’s Yoon-Ji Cho was tied with Sung Hyun Park at 8 under after a 68.
Short’s strong finish good for Champions Tour lead
Wes Short Jr. birdied three of the last four holes for a five-under 67 and a one-stroke lead in the Champions Tour’s San Antonio Championship.
The 51-year-old former University of Texas player had seven birdies and two bogeys on TPC San Antonio’s AT&T Canyons Course. He won the Quebec Championship last year for his lone victory on the 50-and-over tour and also won the PGA Tour’s 2005 Las Vegas event.
Paul Goydos, Jeff Sluman, Stephen Ames, Duffy Waldorf and Scott Dunlap were tied for second.
Charles Schwab Cup leader Colin Montgomerie opened with a 71. He has a 39-point lead over Jeff Maggert with three events left in the season-long competition. Maggert had a 72. He has a tour-high four victories, winning majors in the Regions Tradition and U.S. Senior Open.
Kuchar has two-stroke lead at Fiji International
American Matt Kuchar shot an even-par 72 in windy conditions to take a two-stroke lead after the second round of the Fiji International in Suva.
Kuchar had a two-over 146 total at Natadolo Bay in the event sanctioned by the OneAsia and Australasian tours. Australia’s Aron Price was second after a 70.
England’s Andy Sullivan shot his second straight seven-under 64 to take a three-shot lead in the Portugal Masters at Oceanico Victoria. Belgium’s Thomas Pieters was second after a 66. Austria’s Bernd Wiesberger (64) and Spain’s Eduardo de la Riva (67) were tied for second at 10 under. ... Taiwan’s Hung Chien-yao shot a seven-under 64 in the Macao Open to take a one-stroke lead over defending champion Anirban Lahiri of India. Hung had a 10-under 132 total in the Asian Tour event. Lahiri, coming off his first Presidents Cup appearance, shot a 67.
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