Streelman fires a 65to grab share of lead

March 16, 2013

Kevin Streelman figured a good round Saturday in Palm Harbor, Fla., would at least get him in the mix at the Tampa Bay Championship. It wound up giving him a share of the lead.

Streelman had a 6-under-par 65 and was tied for the lead with Justin Leonard (67) and George Coetzee of South Africa (68). But the tournament was wide open heading into the final day, with 16 players separated by only three shots.

Nine players had at least a share of the lead on a warm, pleasant day on the menacing Copperhead course at Innisbrook.

Streelman finished his round nearly two hours before the last group walked off the 18th green. Leonard ran off four birdies in a five-hole stretch around the turn and had the lead to himself before a bogey from the bunker on the 15th. Coetzee bounced back from his lone bogey with a birdie on the 17th hole.

The trio wound up tied at 6-under 207.

Defending champion Luke Donald had a 67 and was only two shots behind at 4-under 209, along with 19-year-old Jordan Spieth of Texas.

LPGA TOUR: In Phoenix, Ai Miyazato pulled back in front in the LPGA Founders Cup, making three birdies in a four-hole stretch on the back nine and saving par with a long putt on the par-4 finishing hole.

The diminutive Japanese star shot her second straight 5-under 67 after opening with a tournament-record 64. At 19-under 197, she had a four-stroke lead over Stacy Lewis and Jee Young Lee.

Lewis was penalized two strokes after the round when it was determined that caddie Travis Wilson tested the sand before Lewis played out of a bunker on the par-4 16th. That turned a 66 into a 68, making the third-ranked Texan’s bid to take over the top spot in the world from Yani Tseng more difficult Sunday.

Lewis would jump to No. 1 with a victory Sunday, as long as Tseng — tied for 63rd at 2 under after a 72 — finishes third or worse.

After two days in the low-90s, it only reached the mid-80s at Desert Ridge’s Wildfire layout.

CHAMPIONS TOUR: David Frost maintained a one-stroke lead over Fred Couples at the Toshiba Classic in Newport Beach, Calif., eagling the final hole for a 5-under 66.

After opening with a 63, Frost had a 13-under 129 total. The South African made an 18-foot putt for the eagle on the par-5 18th, while Couples two-putted from 35 feet for birdie and a 66.

Jim Gallagher Jr. was third at 8 under after a round of 68.

EUROPEAN TOUR: In Greater Noida, India, South African Thomas Aiken shot a 10-under 62 to take a three-shot lead in the third round of the the Avantha Masters.

Aiken had eight birdies and an eagle for an 18-under 198 total to move ahead of Liang Wenchong of China, whose 69 left him at 15 under. Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat (66) and Scotland’s David Drysdale (68) were at 14 under.

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