Kuchar builds 4-shot lead at Mayakoba
PLAYA DEL CARMEN, Mexico – Matt Kuchar had another rough hole and enough birdies to atone for it Saturday, posting a 6-under 65 to open a four-shot lead in the Mayakoba Golf Classic.
Kuchar hit a wild drive to the right into mangroves on the par-4 14th and had to get up-and-down to salvage a bogey. That was the only big mistake for Kuchar, who is going after his first PGA Tour title in more than four years.
He saved par from just off the green at the 18th to finish at 20-under 193, four shots ahead of Whee Kim, who had a 66.
It matches the largest 54-hole lead of Kuchar’s career.
He also led by four at the Houston Open in 2014, when he wound up losing to Matt Jones in a playoff.
Richy Werenski and Danny Lee each shot 67 and were five shots back, followed by a group that included PGA Tour rookie of the year Aaron Wise (63) and Cameron Champ (69). Champ, who played in the final group with Kuchar and Lee, already won this season at the Sanderson Farms Championship.
Kuchar has been piling up birdies at El Camaleon Golf Club, and he began to pull away with four birdies on the front nine. Just like Friday, however, one hole gave him stress. It was the 12th hole in the second round, when he had to make a 35foot bogey putt. On Saturday, it was a tee shot on the 14th. Kuchar took a penalty from the hazard, and dropped in a good lie a few inches next to the cart path.
Instead of taking relief into deeper rough, he hit with his feet on the path and picked it clean so his fairway metal wouldn’t smack into the cement. It came up just short of the green, and he chipped to 5 feet and made the bogey putt.
Kuchar responded with a tee shot to 4 feet on the par-3 15th to restore his margin to four shots, and he caught a break on the last hole when he pulled his approach, but it struck a tree and came down in light rough to set up a simple upand-down.
Champ was trying to get into the final group for Sunday with a par on the last hole, but his wedge came out hot from the rough and rolled through the green, his chip came out heavy and he threeputted for double bogey.
Ryder Cup captain Jim Furyk had a 66 and was at 13-under 200. Also seven shots behind was Anirban Lahiri of India, who was tied with Kuchar early on the front line and still in the mix until a double bogey on the 14th hole and a bogey on the 16th. He had to settle for a 69.
SUN CITY, South Africa – Sergio Garcia leads by two strokes going into the final round of the Nedbank Golf Challenge and is on course for a wire-to-wire win at the penultimate event of the European Tour season.
Garcia improved his 1-shot overnight lead over Louis Oosthuizen, although the gap would have been bigger if not for a two-shot swing Oosthuizen’s way on the final hole of the third round at Gary Player Country Club on Saturday.
Garcia bogeyed No. 18 for the second straight round after sending his approach into the grandstand. He signed for a 1-under 71 and 10 under overall. Oosthuizen made birdie on the last to finish with a 72 and two off Garcia when he was four behind on the last tee.
Thomas Detry, Mikko Korhonen and two-time Nedbank winner Lee Westwood are tied for third, three shots off the lead on 7 under. Ross Fisher is a further shot back.
Garcia birdied his second and third holes but found it tough at the back end of his round again, with his wayward approach to the last green flying high into the rows of spectators up on the stands.
HAINAN ISLAND, China – Gaby Lopez won her first LPGA Tour event with a 1over 73 to finish one shot ahead of Ariya Jutanugarn in the Blue Bay tournament in China.
Lopez had bogeys on the last two holes at the Jian Lake Blue Bay Golf Club on Saturday and almost let the title slip away. She finished at 8-under 280.
Playing in a group with Lopez, No. 1ranked Jutanugarn had a birdie on the final hole to also finish on 73.
Celine Boutier shot a 66 and finished two shots off the lead.