On the Lines Saturday’s pro golf results
Rickie Fowler kept bogeys off his card for the second straight day and closed with a 5-foot birdie putt for a 3-under 68, giving him a one-shot lead over Patrick Reed going into the final round of The Barclays. Fowler has gone 45 holes without a bogey at Bethpage Black, the site of two U.S. Opens and among the toughest courses on the PGA Tour. Along with his three birdies Saturday, he made three par-saving putts of at least 10 feet, including one from 25 feet early in his round. And he needed them all. Reed overcame three bogeys in a four-hole stretch on the front nine and was tied for the lead on the back nine until the final two holes. Reed missed a 5-foot birdie putt on the 17th, and his 15-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole missed weakly to the right. Fowler, who was at 9-under 204, is in prime position to win for the first time on the PGA Tour in a year and play his way onto the U.S. Ryder Cup team. This is the final tournament for Americans to earn one of the eight automatic spots for the Ryder Cup matches at Hazeltine at the end of next month. Fowler was at No. 12 going into the opening FedEx Cup event with its $8.5 million purse and needed at least a third-place finish to earn a spot. Reed, who is No. 8 in the Ryder Cup standings, settled into his round and wound up with a 71, putting him in the final group with Fowler. Right behind was Adam Scott, who also saw his share of putts go in, especially a 45-foot birdie on the 15th hole. Scott started out his round by holing a lob wedge from 98 yards for an eagle, and his 65 was the lowest score of the tournament.
CANADIAN PACIFIC WOMEN’S OPEN
Jutanugarn missed a chance to take a big lead into the final round of the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open, making two late bogeys at Priddis Greens. A week after withdrawing from the Rio Olympics because of a left knee injury, the 20-year-old Thai player bogeyed the par-4 16th and par-5 18th for a 5-under 67. At 17-under 199, she had a two-stroke advantage over South Korea’s In Gee Chun. Jutanugarn won the Women’s British Open in the event before the Olympics to tie Lydia Ko for the LPGA Tour victory lead with four. After a late meltdown in the major ANA Inspiration in April, Jutanugarn picked up the nickname “May” with three straight victories in the breakthrough month. Chun shot a 66. South Korea’s Sei Young Kim and Northern Ireland’s Stephanie Meadow were 12 under. Kim had a 68, and Meadow shot 69. Three-time champion Ko (70) was tied for 10th at 10 under, and Canadian star Brooke Henderson (68) was nine strokes back at 8 under. Ko won the event three of the last four years, the first two as an amateur.
Sauers took the Boeing Classic lead, two weeks after his breakthrough victory in the U.S. Senior Open. The 54-year-old Sauers two-putted for birdie on the par-5 18th for a 5-under 67 and a two-stroke lead over Joe Durant. The three-time PGA Tour winner had a 12-under 132 total at TPC Snoqualmie Ridge. Sauers birdied four of the last five holes, making three in a row in Nos. 14-16. Durant birdied the last for a 65. He won the 3M Championship three weeks ago in Minnesota. Tom Byrum and Stephen Ames were 9 under. Byrum had a 68, and Ames shot 69. Kirk Triplett, tied for the first-round lead with Sauers after a 65, had a 71 to drop into a tie for fifth at 8 under. Bernhard Langer also was 8 under after a 67. The 58-year-old German star won the 2010 tournament and finished second behind Billy Andrade last year. Langer has three victories this year, two of them majors.