John­son and Mat­suyama tied for lead in Ba­hamas

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

NASSAU: Dustin John­son wasn’t even ex­pect­ing to be in the Ba­hamas for the Hero World Chal­lenge. He was tied for the lead Fri­day with Hideki Mat­suyama, who has rea­son to ex­pect be­ing at the top of any tour­na­ment he plays. Six shots be­hind was Tiger Woods, who shot a 7-un­der 65 with­out any­one in his way. John­son ran off three straight birdies early in his round, moved into con­tention with an ea­gle and closed with a fear­less drive down the mid­dle of the wa­ter-lined 18th fair­way at Albany that set up a birdie for a 66. Mat­suyama had the lead to him­self un­til a bo­gey from the bunker on the par-3 17th. He shot a 67 to tie John­son at 12-un­der 132.

They were two shots ahead of Louis Oosthuizen and Matt Kuchar, who each shot 67. No one knows win­ning like Mat­suyama over the last few months. He has three vic­to­ries in his last four starts around the world the other was a run­ner-up fin­ish in Malaysia which in­cludes his first World Golf Cham­pi­onship ti­tle at the HSBC Cham­pi­ons.

John­son was sched­uled to play an ex­hi­bi­tion against Rory McIl­roy in the Philip­pines on Tues­day, and while he thought about a trip half­way around the world to get to the Ba­hamas on time, he was re­signed to sit­ting this one out. But he never with­drew in case the ex­hi­bi­tion fell through, and it did.

Woods made two su­per par saves, from next to a bush on the par-3 eighth and with a 25-foot putt on the 16th. He was prac­ti­cally flaw­less for a seven-hole stretch in the mid­dle of his round and tied for ninth. Plus, it took just un­der three hours. Woods played as a sin­gle when Albany res­i­dent Justin Rose with­drew be­cause of back prob­lems.


An­drew Dodt shot a 5-un­der 67 to take a two-stroke lead over fel­low Aus­tralian Ash­ley Hall in the Aus­tralian PGA Cham­pi­onship.

Dodt had a 12-un­der 132 to­tal at Royal Pines Re­sort. Hall shot a 69.

Aus­tralian star Adam Scott (6) and New Zealand’s Ryan Fox (69) were 8 un­der. Amer­i­can Harold Varner III (72) was 7 un­der.


South Africa’s Bran­don Stone closed with an ea­gle to take the Al­fred Dun­hill Cham­pi­onship lead af­ter need­ing treat­ment for a back in­jury mid­way through the round. Stone shot a 6-un­der 66 to reach 11-un­der 133 at Leop­ard Creek.

De­fend­ing cham­pion Charl Schwartzel of South Africa and Chris Han­son of Eng­land were sec­ond. Schwartzel had a 68m and Han­son shot 65.


Ja­panese teen Nasa Hataoka shot a 3un­der 69 to take a one-stroke lead af­ter the third of five rounds in the LPGA Tour qual­i­fy­ing tour­na­ment. The 17-year-old Hataoka had four birdies and a bo­gey on the Jones Course to reach 14-un­der 202 at LPGA In­ter­na­tional. She won a Ja­pan LPGA ma­jor in Oc­to­ber.

The top 20 will earn full cards and the next 25 and ties will get con­di­tional sta­tus. Jaye Marie Green was sec­ond af­ter a 67 on the Jones Course. The Amer­i­can won in 2013 at LPGA In­ter­na­tional at a record 29 un­der. Ice­land’s Olafia Kristins­dot­tir was 9 un­der along with Amer­i­can Sadena Parks, Tai­wan’s Ssu Chia Cheng and Latvia’s Krista Puisite. Kristins­dot­tir had a 67 on the Hills Course. Parks shot 67, Cheng 69, and Puisite 70 - all on the Jones Course.


Phillip Price and Scott Parel shared medal­ist hon­ors in the PGA Tour Cham­pi­ons qual­i­fy­ing tour­na­ment to top the five fully ex­empt qual­i­fiers. Price, from Wales, shot a 4-un­der 68 to match Parel (69) at 13-un­der 275 on Dis­ney’s Mag­no­lia Course. Bobby Gage was third at 11 un­der, birdieing the fi­nal three holes for a 67.

Fran Quinn and Skip Ken­dall got the last two spots, beat­ing Gibby Gil­bert III in a play­off. Quinn shot 68, Ken­dall 72, and Gil­bert 67 to reach 9 un­der. Nos. 6-30 and ties re­ceived as­so­ci­ate mem­ber­ship and will have ac­cess to event qual­i­fy­ing while by­pass­ing pre­qual­i­fy­ing. —

NASSAU: Dustin John­son watches his tee shot on the 16th hole dur­ing the sec­ond round at the Hero World Chal­lenge golf tour­na­ment, Fri­day, in Nassau, Ba­hamas. —AP

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