Spieth moves within 4 of Australian Open lead

By Al TaysNovember 27, 2015, 7:35 am

Sydney native Matt Jones shot a 3-under-par 68 Friday to take a three-shot lead midway through the Australian Open. Meanwhile, defending champion Jordan Spieth also posted a 68 to move within four shots of the lead. Here's how things stand after 36 holes in Sydney:

Leaderboard: Matt Jones (-7), Todd Sinnott (-4), Nicolas Colsaerts (-3), Geoff Ogilvy (-3), Aron Price (-3), Jordan Spieth (-3), Lincoln Tighe (-3)

What it means: Jones, 35, leads a parade of Australians at the top of the leaderboard. The only non-Aussies in the top 10 and ties are American Spieth and Belgian Colsaerts. Jones may be better known to Americans than some of the rest of his countrymen, however. He went to Arizona State, plays the PGA Tour (where he won the 2014 Shell Houston Open) and led the PGA Championship after 36 holes this year before fading and finishing T-21.

Round of the day: That would be Colsaerts' 6-under 65. He was 5 under for the round before making his first bogey, at the 17th. He promptly recovered that stroke with a birdie at the 18th.

Best of the rest: Forty-seven-year-old Darren Clarke followed his opening 75 with a 4-under 67 to move to even par, seven shots off the lead. Clarke, the 2011 Open Championship champion, had five birdies and a lone bogey. Spieth's 68 was one of several 3-under rounds on the day. As he was in his opening 71, he was strong on his first nine holes, while on his second nine, not so much. On Friday he made the turn in 3 under after birdies at Nos. 1, 4 and 7. He added another birdie at the par-5 14th, but then bogeyed the 15th and 16th. He reached the par-5 18th in two, but left his eagle putt short before holing the second putt for birdie and 68.

Biggest disappointment: We have to give this 'honor' to first-round leader Lincoln Tighe, who followed his 66 with a 73. He went to the 15th tee of his second round at 2 under for the day, then went bogey-bogey-double bogey. Adam Scott, trying to avoid his first winless year since 2001, also left the course in disappointment after following his even-par opening round with a 2-over 73. His 36-hole total isn't a complete disaster, but he admitted he had no answers on the greens.

Main storyline heading into the weekend: Can Spieth capture the same kind of magic he had here a year ago, when his win propelled him to an epic season and the No. 1 world ranking? Can Scott break out of his funk and lift himself into contention? Or which one of a host of Aussies will defend the home country's honor?

Quote of the day: "I need two good rounds to win this tournament." - Scott

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DEFCON Tiger: Athletes tweet while watching Tiger

By Golf Channel DigitalSeptember 22, 2018, 8:15 pm

Tiger Woods grabbed the Tour Championship lead and the sports world by the throat Saturday, making birdie on six of his first seven holes in his third round and sending social media into a frenzy.

Here's a sampling from athletes, journalists and celebrtiies, and we'll start with two-time NBA MVP Steph Curry.

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Lewis fires 61, two behind Herbert in Portugal

By Associated PressSeptember 22, 2018, 8:13 pm

VILAMOURA, Portugal – Tom Lewis came within two shots of tying English countryman Oliver Fisher's European Tour record on another day of low scoring at the Portugal Masters on Saturday.

Lewis returned a 10-under 61 in the third round, just 24 hours after Fisher carded the first 59 on the circuit. Lewis moved to two strokes behind leader Lucas Herbert of Australia.

Lewis acknowledged the thought of another 59 crept into his mind: ''It's something I noticed with three holes to go. I wasn't that bothered at the end of the day.

''I'm pleased that I shot 10 under par. I can only continue to make birdies and see what happens tomorrow.''

Herbert, who is playing off invites this season as he looks to earn his full tour playing privileges, shot a 64 for a 19-under total of 194.

Fisher took 10 more strokes than he did on Friday and was in a group on 14-under 199.

Sergio Garcia of Spain, trying to find form ahead of next week's Ryder Cup, was on 204 after a 68.

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Tiger Tracker: Tour Championship

By Tiger TrackerSeptember 22, 2018, 7:25 pm

After grinding out a 68 on Friday, Tiger Woods is trying to get the lead all to himself in Round 3 at the Tour Championship. We're tracking him.


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Highlights: Tiger's seven Saturday birdies so far

By Nick MentaSeptember 22, 2018, 7:08 pm

Tiger Woods entered Saturday tied atop the board and wasted little time taking the outright lead at East Lake.

Woods moved clear of the field with this birdie at No. 1, whipping the Atlanta crowd into an early frenzy.

Following a 4-foot par save at the second, Woods moved ahead by two and reached 9 under par when he played this approach from 144 and sank this 8-footer for birdie at the third.

One hole later, Woods reached double digits at 10 under par when he poured in a bending 21-footer that just crept over the lip.

He made it four birdies in his first five holes when he bombed a 320-yard drive, wedged to 7 feet, and converted again.

He looked in danger of not capitalizing on his first crack at a par-5 after he came out of a fairway wood on his second shot, but a splash from the bunker and a make from 6 feet gave him his fifth circle in six holes.

He went Vintage Tiger at the seventh, playing this fairway bunker shot from 172 yards to 5 feet, setting up his sixth birdie in his first seven holes and advancing him to 13 under, five clear.

Looking to make the turn in 29, Woods instead missed the green at the par-3 ninth, failed to get up and down for par, and had to settle for 5-under 30.

Following pars at 10 and 11, he started looking this approach up and down at the 12th, leading to his seventh birdies of the day.