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Kuchar builds a 2-shot lead at Mayakoba Clas­sic

PLAYA DEL CAR­MEN, Mex­ico – Matt Kuchar had a 7-un­der 64 with a for­tu­nate bo­gey on his card to build a twoshot lead over big-hit­ting rookie Cameron Champ on Fri­day in Mayakoba Golf Clas­sic.

Kuchar surged into the mix with five straight birdies on the front nine. He was lead­ing by one when his tee shot sailed well to right un­der bushes near a bed of rocks. He took a penalty drop in a pre­car­i­ous spot, chipped out into the rough and es­caped with no more worse than bo­gey when he holed a 35-foot putt.

Champ, go­ing for his sec­ond vic­tory this sea­son, played in the morn­ing and had a 62 with a bo­gey on his fi­nal hole. Kuchar was at 14-un­der 128. Jor­dan Spi­eth missed the cut in his fi­nal event of the year.

Garcia’s lead in Sun City cut to 1 by Oosthuizen

SUN CITY, South Africa – Ser­gio Garcia only just held onto his lead as Louis Oosthuizen’s sec­ond-round charge took him to within a shot of the Spaniard at the Ned­bank Golf Chal­lenge on Fri­day.

Garcia’s 1-un­der 71 moved him to 9 un­der par over­all, but his four-shot firstround ad­van­tage dis­ap­peared as Oosthuizen made an ea­gle and five birdies in a 67 at Gary Player Coun­try Club.

While Garcia bo­geyed three of his last six holes, Oosthuizen came home in 32, with that ea­gle three and two birdies on his back nine.

Garcia is seek­ing a third Ned­bank ti­tle but first since 2003, while South Africa’s Oosthuizen has never won his coun­try’s most pres­ti­gious tour­na­ment.

Rory McIlroy, who is still in the run­ning to win the Race to Dubai and end the sea­son as Eu­ro­pean No. 1, is tied for 19th after a 1-un­der 71.

Gaby Lopez gets an ace and takes lead in Blue Bay LPGA

HAINAN IS­LAND, China – Gaby Lopez shot a hole-in-one for a 6-un­der 66 on her 25th birth­day and a one-stroke lead over Ariya Ju­tanu­garn after the third round of the Blue Bay LPGA tour­na­ment on Fri­day.

Lopez had her ace on the par-3 17th and the Mex­i­can player will be look­ing for her first LPGA vic­tory in Satur­day’s fi­nal round at the Jian Lake Blue Bay Golf Club. She had a 9-un­der to­tal of 207 after three rounds.

Ju­tanu­garn led by four strokes after the sec­ond round but slipped to a 71, which in­cluded a bo­gey on the fi­nal hole.

Sung Hyun Park shot a 67 and fel­low South Korean Sei Young Kim had a 68 to put them both within five strokes of the lead.

The tour­na­ment wraps up five straight weeks of play for the LPGA in Asia.

Yanagita hits ‘say­onara’ home run to lift Ja­pan over MLB

TOKYO – Yuki Yanagita hit a two-run walkoff home run in the bot­tom of the ninth in­ning Fri­day to lift Ja­pan to a 7-6 win over the MLB All-Stars in the open­ing game of a six-game ex­hi­bi­tion se­ries.

Juan Soto, Car­los San­tana and Amed Rosario had all home­red to give the MLB squad a 6-4 lead but re­liever Kirby Yates couldn’t close out the game.

Tsub­asa Aizawa sin­gled in a run to cut the lead to 6-5 be­fore Yanagita’s dra­matic blast to deep cen­ter be­fore 44,943 at Tokyo Dome.

San­tana hit a three-run homer in the fifth in­ning to give his team a 4-1 lead but Ja­pan tied the game on a basescle­ar­ing dou­ble by Shogo Akiyama in the bot­tom of the frame.

Soto re­stored the lead for the MLB play­ers in the sixth with an op­po­site­field two-run shot to left.

Rosario hit a solo homer in the third in­ning.

The se­ries con­tin­ues this week­end with two more games in Tokyo fol­lowed by one game in Hiroshima on Tues­day and two games in Nagoya on Wed­nes­day and Thurs­day.

Twins’ Joe Mauer re­tir­ing after 15 sea­sons

MIN­NEAPO­LIS – Min­nesota Twins star Joe Mauer is re­tir­ing after 15 sea­sons.

The Twins re­leased a re­tire­ment state­ment Fri­day from Mauer that will run Sun­day in the Min­neapo­lis Star Tri­bune. Mauer, who missed sig­nif­i­cant time this sea­son with a con­cus­sion, says in the ad that his de­ci­sion “came down to my health and my fam­ily.”

“Thank you, Min­nesota Twins, and thank you, fans, for mak­ing my ca­reer as spe­cial and memorable as it was,” Mauer writes. “Be­cause of you I can leave the game I love with a full and grate­ful heart.”

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