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Choi leads in Bahamas

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Published : 2014-01-26 19:14
Updated : 2014-01-26 19:14

PARADISE ISLAND, Bahamas (AP) ― Choi Na-yeon shot a 7-under 66 on Saturday to take a one-stroke lead in the season-opening Bahamas LPGA Classic, chipping to a foot to set up a birdie on the par-5 18th hole.

The seventh-ranked Choi, a seven-time winner on the LPGA Tour, birdied three of the last four holes in her bogey-free round to reach 15 under on Atlantis Resort’s Ocean Club course.

“I think the last three rounds I had a really good swing,” Choi said. “I had so many good shots. But I still have to play aggressively tomorrow. So many players have a chance.”

The South Korean player hit 16 greens in regulation after hitting all 18 in windy conditions Friday.

“I had so many solid shots out there.” Choi said. “I missed two greens today. Only two, but I hit a putt from the fringe, so obviously I haven’t chipped the last two rounds. Last two, three weeks I haven’t practiced much, maybe like seven or 10 days only, and every day it’s just work out like two hours, and then I went to Dallas for chiropractor just more like take care for my body and then I got great feeling about my swing.”

Lizette Salas was a stroke back. She also had a bogey-free 66.

“I’ve been bogey-free for the last two days and I’m feeling great on the greens,” said Salas, winless on the tour. “A win is always on my mind, and it’s been a goal of mine since coming close last year in Hawaii.”

Fighting flu-like symptoms, she birdied three of the first four holes on the back nine.

“Once I hit the turn, I was just on it and wanted to make as many birdies as I could,” Salas said. “You can’t always play perfect and that’s the thing about this game. I was trying to play it as best I could coming down the stretch.”

Farmers Insurance Open

SAN DIEGO (AP) ― Gary Woodland didn’t have to overpower the par 5s to take the lead at Torrey Pines.

Woodland found his five birdies elsewhere Saturday on another tough day of scoring on the South Course for a 2-under 70, giving him a one-shot lead over 20-year-old Jordan Spieth and Marc Leishman of Australia going into the final round of the Farmers Insurance Open.

That final round won’t include a familiar figure.

Defending champion Tiger Woods, an eight-time winner at Torrey Pines, went seven straight holes making bogey or worse on his way to a 79. That not only matched his highest score on American soil, he failed to make the 54-hole cut.

Qatar Masters

DOHA (AP) ― Sergio Garcia birdied the third extra hole to beat Mikko Ilonen in a playoff Saturday and win the Qatar Masters for his second victory in three events.

Garcia entered the round three shots behind overnight leader Rafa Cabrera-Bello but birdied six of his last 12 for a 7-under 65, forcing Ilonen to make an 18-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole to force the playoff with a 66. They both finished on 16-under 272.

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