GOLF ROUNDUP: Dufner maintains his lead

By: corthing


Yet when play ended Saturday, Jason Dufner was the one alone at the top of the leaderboard for the second day in a row.

Unfazed by more breezy conditions, Dufner shot a 1-under 69 for an 8-under 202 total. He had a one-stroke lead over Jason Day, J.J. Henry and Dicky Pride.

“Similar conditions as (Friday), so probably helped me a little bit, just being comfortable with the wind and how hard it was blowing,” Dufner said. “Good ball striking, hit a lot of greens. … Didn’t feel like I was scrambling too much, trying to save pars or out of position, anything like that.”

Three weeks after getting his first PGA Tour victory at New Orleans, and two weeks after getting married, Dufner is already trying to win again.

Matt Kuchar, who won The Players Championship last weekend, was in a group of eight players four shots back after a 72 with an up-and-down back nine.

Kuchar, the fifth-ranked player in the world, still has a chance to become the first PGA Tour player sinceTiger Woods in 2009 to win in consecutive weeks.

Dufner’s only bogey came at the 528-yard par-4 third hole, when he knew right away that his drive wasn’t a good one. He immediately dropped his club to watch as the ball flew into a bunker on the left side of the fairway, opposite the water on the right where he hit his tee shot the previous day. Advertisement

“A little bit of carryover from (Friday), not trying to let those things happen, but occasionally they creep in your mind,” he said. “That bunker is almost as bad as being in the water, so (Sunday) maybe I’ll think of that and play more aggressive and try to hit the shot a little better.”

Dufner, who birdied four of his last five holes Friday, got the lost stroke back Saturday with a 10-foot birdie putt at No. 6. He had pars the rest of the way except for the 14-foot birdie at the par-4 14th.

Day’s only bogey came when he missed a putt of less than 2 feet at No. 18, costing him a share of the lead with a round of 67.

There were 20 players within five strokes of the lead. Phil Mickelson was among a group of seven players only one more back.

Henry had three birdies on the back nine after two bogeys on the easier front nine in a round of 67. Pride, who has been playing professionally for 20 years, got his only PGA Tour victory in 1994.

Vijay Singh, a 34-time PGA Tour winner whose last victory was in 2008, had a 66 Saturday. He was two strokes back after an eagle-birdie-bogey finish.

LPGA Tour

GLADSTONE, N.J. – Morgan Pressel inched closer to her first LPGA Tour title since 2008, posting two very different victories to reach the semifinals of the Sybase Match Play Championship.

Pressel rallied from 2-down with three holes to play to stun No. 2 ranked Na Yeon Choi in 19 holes in the morning and rolled over Anna Nordqvist of Sweden 5 and 4 in the afternoon quarterfinal in the surprised-filled event at the Hamilton Farm Golf Club.

Pressel will face Azahara Munoz – a 5-and-4 winner over American Stacy Lewis – in the semifinals this morning, while American Vicky Hurst and Candie Kung will square off in the other match.

Hurst edged U.S. Women’s Open champion Ryu So Yeon of South Korea 2-up, and Kung, from Taiwan, topped Paraguay’s Julieta Granada 2 and 1.

European Tour

CASARES, Spain – Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell advanced to the World Match Play Championship semifinals when Spanish favorite Sergio Garcia missed a shot par putt on the first extra hole.

McDowell will face Rafael Cabrera-Bello, a 3-and-1 winner over Spanish compatriot Alvaro Quiros.

Belgium’s Nicolas Colsaerts will play Scotland’s Paul Lawrie in the other semifinal at Finca Cortesin. Colsaerts beat American Brandt Snedeker 4 and 3, and Paul Lawrie routed South Africa’s Retief Goosen 6 and 5.

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