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Rose scrambles for par to cling to 1-stroke lead



Published: Sat, August 27, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



Justin Rose managed to salvage an even-par 70 to hold off Ben Curtis.

ASSOCIATED PRESS

CROMWELL, Conn. -- Bogey-free and four strokes in front after 36 holes at the Buick Championship, Justin Rose went over par on No. 37. He kept his poise, though, and was still one stroke in front Saturday after three rounds.

Rose missed a 14-foot par putt on the opening hole and scrambled all day for an even par 70 that had him at 12-under 198. It was just enough to hold off Ben Curtis, his playing partner and friend.

Curtis, the 2003 British Open champion, shot a 3-under 67. His only mistake was driving into the water on No. 17, costing him a share of the lead.

Four golfers, including Corey Pavin (67), who got within two strokes of the lead midway through his round, were at 202. That group also included defending champion Woody Austin (65), Jerry Kelly (67) and Tjaart van der Walt (68).

LPGA

DUBLIN, Ohio -- Despite closing with two bogeys, Paula Creamer moved closer to clinching LPGA rookie of the year honors by shooting a 6-under 66 Saturday to take a one-stroke lead after three rounds at the Wendy's Championship for Children.

Creamer, who won the Sybase and Evian tournaments earlier this year, can lock up the rookie title with a win. That would give her an insurmountable lead over Meena Lee in the points standings that determine the award.

The 19-year-old was at 16-under 200 after three rounds at Tartan Fields Golf Club, one shot in front of Cristie Kerr and Soo-Yun Kang. Kerr matched Creamer's 66, while Kang shot a 69.

Creamer began the day two shots behind co-leaders Kang and defending champion Catriona Matthew. She took the lead with birdies on her first three holes. She added birdies at Nos. 7, 11 and 12 to build a two-stroke lead. She added another birdie at the 16th, then encountered problems down the stretch.

She overshot the green on the par-3 17th, chipped back and missed a 12-footer for par. At the par-4 18th, her second shot was on the green but on the bottom tier. Her first putt came up 4 feet short and she missed the par putt.

U.S. Amateur

ARDMORE, Pa. -- Dillon Dougherty chipped in for birdie at the 17th hole and hit the flag stick at the last, the ball stopping close enough for a 'gimmie' par. He beat Canada's J.C. Deacon 1-up Saturday to advance to the final of the U.S. Amateur.

The Northwestern senior will meet Italy's Edoardo Molinari, a 2 and 1 semifinal winner over Austin Eaton III, in today's 36-hole match play final.

Dougherty and Molinari will receive invitations to next year's Masters and U.S. Open. Sunday's winner also advances to the 2006 British Open.

One hole down with two to play, Dougherty missed the 246-yard, par-3 17th to the left and faced a 30-yard chip across the green. He then hit one of his purest chip shots to even the match.

Dougherty's approach from 220 yards on the 18th hit the broadcast booth short and right of the green, leaving a 47-yard pitch to the pin. Dougherty got a free drop and made it count, with his chip bouncing once, hitting the flag stick and stopping about a foot from the hole.

Deacon conceded the par putt, and studied his options for his third shot, a chip from just short of the green. His pitch ran 10 feet past, and he missed the comeback shot, giving Dougherty the victory.




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