For­mer pitcher Derek Lowe leads Tahoe

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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 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.

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