Roundup: Sabbatini takes 1-shot Wachovia lead
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Rory Sabbatini holed out for eagle from the first fairway and picked up even more ground with a birdie on the final hole on a thrilling Saturday at the Wachovia Championship, giving him a share of the course record with an 8-under-par 64 and a final pairing he wanted with Tiger Woods.
For those who miss the excitement once found at the Augusta National, this was the place to be.
Sabbatini, Vijay Singh and Arron Oberholser all made eagle from the fairway, and players jockeyed for position along the back nine with an array of birdies that brought Quail Hollow to life on a gray afternoon of light rain.
And there was one more comparison worthy of the Masters — Woods took bogey on his final two holes and had to settle for a 68.
Sabbatini was at 11-under 205 and will be in the final group with Woods, who saved bogey from the creek and was one shot behind. The spunky South African won at Riviera two years ago and heard murmurs that it wasn’t that great of a victory because Woods had withdrawn on the weekend with the flu.
Singh roared to life with a birdie-birdie-eagle start to his back nine, and wound up with a 69 and was at 207. He will be paired with Oberholser, who had a 69.
In Broken Arrow, Okla., Lorena Ochoa’s charge fizzled in the second round of the SemGroup Championship.
Ochoa got off to an eagle-birdie start, but a double bogey at No. 15 spoiled her round and left the top-ranked Mexican star three strokes behind leaders Stephanie Louden, Nicole Castrale, Karin Sjodin and Reilley Rankin.
The four leaders, tied at 4-under 138, are all seeking their first LPGA Tour win.
Rankin shot a 3-under 68, Louden had a 69, Sjodin a 70 and Castrale a 71.
In Lakeway, Texas, Scott Hoch moved into position for his first Champions Tour victory, shooting a 6-under 66 to take a three-stroke lead over D.A. Weibring into the final round of the FedEx Kinko’s Classic.
Hoch, the only player in the field without a bogey in the first two days, had an 11-under 133 total on The Hills Country Club course.
Weibring was 8-under after his second straight 68. Hale Irwin (68) and first-round leader Leonard Thompson (73) were 7-under, Loren Roberts (72) and Tom Purtzer (67) followed at 6-under, and Massy Kuramoto (73) was 5-under.
European PGA Tour
In Milan, Italy, Andrew McLardy of South Africa shot his second straight 7-under 65 and took the lead at the Italian Open, which was reduced to 54 holes after play was cut short because of lightning.
McLardy is at 14-under 130 after 36 holes. Nick Dougherty (64) is a stroke behind, followed by Joakim Backstrom (70), Markus Brier (69) and Alvaro Quiros (67) at 132. More than 10 hours of play have been lost since the tournament began because of torrential rain.
Backstrom shot a course-record 62 on Thursday but didn’t play a hole Friday because of rain. He dropped shots on the sixth and 18th holes in the second round.