Former pitcher Derek Lowe leads Tahoe
STATELINE, Nev. — Former major league pitcher Derek Lowe took the firstround lead Friday in the American Century Championship at Edgewood Tahoe.
Lowe shot a 2-under 70 and scored 25 points in the modified Stableford system for a one-point lead over former tennis player Mardy Fish. The scoring system awards points for eagles, birdies and pars and deducts points for double bogeys or worse.
“I’m just excited,” Lowe said. “Going to be nervous as heck tomorrow, but it should be fun.”
Fish eagled the par-5 18th for five points.
“There’s a lot of room to improve,” Fish said. “But you know, this format can turn right away with the points available for birdie and eagle.”
San Jose Sharks center Joe Pavelski was third with 23 points.
Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers, Hall of Fame pitcher John Smoltz and Mark Mulder, the former pitcher who is trying for an unprecedented third straight title, had 22 points.
“It would be the greatest underdog story ever,” Rodgers said about winning the 54-hole event.
NBA star Stephen Curry scored 13 points.
Actor-singer Justin Timberlake had four points.
Charles Barkley was last in 89-player field at minus-30 points.
Golf Channel hosts Lisa Cornwell and Blair O’Neal topped the women in the field with 18 points, and mini-tour player Paige Spiranac had 16.
Rodgers takes 2-stroke lead in John Deere Classic
SILVIS, Ill. — Patrick Rodgers shot a 7-under 64 on Friday to take a two-shot lead after the second round of the John Deere Classic.
Rodgers had eight birdies and a bogey to finish at 13-under 129 at TPC Deere Run. Finishing on the front nine, he had five birdies in a seven-hole stretch before closing with a bogey on the par-4 ninth.
“It was nice to keep making birdies and keep the gas pedal down,” Rodgers said. “It was tricky with some breeze, but I know 13 under is not going to win the golf tournament. So, I got to keep that same mindset for the next two rounds.”
Bryson DeChambeau was second after a 65.
Local favorite Zach Johnson, the 2012 winner, had a 67 to join Charles Howell III, the coleader after the first round, at 10 under. Howell followed his opening 63 with a 69.
Kevin Tway (63), Chesson Hadley (64), Chad Campbell (68) and J.J. Henry (64) were 9 under.
Tway had nine birdies in a 10-hole stretch en route to the best round of the day.
Hadley is coming off a victory Sunday in the Web.com Tour event in New York.
Rodgers, the 25-year-old former Stanford star who is winless on the PGA Tour, has followed the formula that many players have used to win at TPC Deere Run — converting makeable birdies and largely avoiding mistakes.
Rodgers also made his fair share of tough shots, notably chipping in from 50 feet on the par-3 third hole and holing a 50-foot birdie putt on the seventh hole.
Wie out of US Women’s Open because of ailing neck
BEDMINSTER, N.J. — Michelle Wie withdrew from the U.S. Women’s Open on Friday because of a neck problem.
She played the final five holes of Thursday first round in pain and withdrew on the second hole of her second round the next day.
“The U.S. Women’s Open is by far one of my favorite tournaments . ... I so badly wanted to play today and the rest of the week,” Wie said in a statement.
Wie said she sprained her neck two weeks ago before the final round of the KPMG Women’s PGA. She finished the tournament but did not hit balls in the weeks leading to the Open at Trump National.