GOLF CAPSULES: Palmer has lead over Garcia after 3 rounds
IRVING, Texas – Ryan Palmer sat down after finishing his third round and put his head down on the table. He was exhausted – and still leading – after a 3-over 73 on a gusty day at the Byron Nelson Championship.
The Texas native who made the cut only once in his first seven appearances at Lord Byron’s tournament, took a one-stroke lead over Sergio Garcia into the final round after surviving a sun-soaked but brutal day for scoring Saturday at TPC Four Seasons.
“We chalked it up as a hard day of golf,” Palmer said. “If you had told me Thursday I was going to have a one-shot lead, I would have called you a liar and said whatever. But my bad round is out of the way, I think, and I still lead by one.”
Even with two bogeys the last three holes, Palmer finished a stroke ahead of playing partner Garcia after the two started the day tied.
Garcia shot a 74 while also making bogeys at the 16th and 18th holes, where he missed makable putts.
“It was definitely hard. At the same time I have to say I got nothing out of my round,” Garcia said. “I could not shoot one shot higher than I did. So if you look at it that way, and I’m only one shot behind Ryan, and I have tomorrow, I think it’s pretty positive.”
The last three holes at TPC Four Seasons played into the wind, sustained all day at 25 mph with gusts near 40.
“Obviously the scores show how hard it was,” Palmer said. “Bad, hard day, that is for sure. I hit it pretty good I felt, but it’s hard to hit some of these tee balls… Just a hard round of golf.”
Conditions are expected to be similar for the final round Sunday.
Only eight of 74 players shot under par Saturday, and there were no bogey-free rounds. The best round was a 67 by Argon Atwal that tied him with Ryuji Imada (70) for third place at 3 under.
“Par’s really good on every hole, and I’m just lucky to shoot 67,” Atwal said after his round with six birdies and three bogeys. “You catch the wrong gust and you could be in serious trouble.”
Garcia missed a 5-foot par putt on the 535-yard 16th hole, where Palmer also bogeyed after missing the fairway with his tee shot.
Senior PGA Championship
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Hale Irwin overcame a four-shot deficit to grab the lead, then frittered it away with a double bogey on the last hole to drop into a tie with Kiyoshi Murota in the Senior PGA Championship.
Seeking a victory that would make him the oldest winner of a senior major and oldest Champions Tour winner, Irwin – who will be 66 on Friday – shot a 2-under 70 that could have been better if not for the finish.
Irwin and Murota, who battled back pain to shoot a 74, were at 9-under 207 at Valhalla Golf Club.
Hall of Famer Tom Watson, the 2007 Senior PGA champion, shot a 68 and was just one shot back, with Trevor Dodds (67) at 7 under and Nick Price (73) at 6 under.
Jock Hutchinson was 62 when he won the 1947 Senior PGA, and Mike Fetchick set the Champions Tour record at 63 in the 1985 Hilton Head Seniors.
BMW PGA Championship
VIRGINIA WATER, England (AP) – Luke Donald birdied two of his last three holes for a 1-over 72 and a share of the lead at the BMW PGA Championship with Italian teenager Matteo Manassero.
Donald had two double bogeys and a bogey on the front nine, then made four birdies on a bogey-free back nine to match Manassero at 5-under 208 on Wentworth’s historic West Course. Manassero also had a 72.
Top-ranked Lee Westwood and Fabrizio Zanotti were two strokes back after 69s. The second-ranked Donald needs to finish in front of Westwood to take the No. 1 ranking.
RIO DE JANEIRO – Heather Bowie Young shot a 6-under 66 in rainy conditions to take a two-stroke lead over Suzann Pettersen and Lindsey Wright in the LPGA Tour’s 36-hole Brazil Cup.
Young had eight birdies and two bogeys at Itanhanga Golf Club in the 30-player exhibition event.
Pettersen is coming off a victory last week in the Sybase Match Play Championship in Gladstone, N.J.
Catriona Matthew, the 2009 winner while five months pregnant, was three strokes back at 69 along with Azahara Munoz and Mariajo Uribe. Defending champion Meaghan Francella had a 71, and Cristie Kerr, second in the Match Play event, opened with a 72.