Pi­eters seizes share of lead af­ter wild day at Bridge­stone


Thomas Pi­eters of Bel­gium ended his roller-coaster round with his eighth birdie, a 30-footer that rammed into the back of the cup for a 4-un­der-par 66 that gave him a share of the lead with Zach John­son in the Bridge­stone In­vi­ta­tional in Akron, Ohio.

Pi­eters, who led by as many as three shots with his ex­plo­sive start Satur­day, ran into trou­ble off the tee and kept drop­ping shots on the back nine. Mo­ments af­ter John­son holed a 10-foot birdie on the 18th for a 65 to take the lead, Pi­eters joined him with his long putt.

John­son, who hasn’t won since he cap­tured his sec­ond ma­jor at St. Andrews two years ago, gave up some 30 yards to Rory McIl­roy through­out their round. But on a Fire­stone course on which he has never se­ri­ously con­tended, he was ef­fi­cient as ever. They were at 9-un­der 201. One shot be­hind was Scott Hend of Aus­tralia, who got into his first Bridge­stone In­vi­ta­tional on a loop­hole and posted a 63 even with two three-putt bo­geys.

LPGA TOUR: In weather that turned out bet­ter than ex­pected — only one heavy shower — I.K. Kim shot a bo­gey-free 66 by con­vert­ing a string of birdie putts at the Women’s Bri­tish Open. With one round to play at St. Andrews, the 29-yearold South Korean was at 17-un­der 199 and had a six-shot lead over Ge­or­gia Hall (70) and Moriya Ju­tanu­garn (67), the older sis­ter of de­fend­ing cham­pion Ariya Ju­tanu­garn.

Kim, five years re­moved from in­fa­mously miss­ing a one-foot putt to win the Kraft Nabisco Cham­pi­onship, now is poised for re­demp­tion with her first ma­jor.

CHAM­PI­ONS TOUR: About 30 min­utes af­ter his tour­na­ment record-set­ting 60 con­cluded, Paul Goy­dos looked at a 3M Cham­pi­onship score­board in Blaine, Minn.

Up by one shot, he pre­dicted Kenny Perry — who had six holes to play — would be ahead by three. Not quite. Perry made just one birdie down the stretch at the TPC Twin Ci­ties to shoot his sec­ond straight 65, leav­ing him tied at 130 with Goy­dos and Gene Sauers head­ing into Sunday’s fi­nal round.

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