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The Journal Gazette

  • Associated Press Jason Day watches his tee shot on the sixth hole at the Wells Fargo Championship on Saturday at Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, N.C. 

Sunday, May 06, 2018 1:00 am

Golf

Day leading field at Quail Hollow

Associated Press

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Quail Hollow was softer and shorter, producing one low score after another before the final groups even started in the Wells Fargo Championship. Jason Day wasn't paying attention, which probably helped.

When he sputtered at the start, there was no reason to panic that he wasn't taking advantage of a great day for scoring. And when Day finally picked up his first birdie by blasting a 9-iron out of the rough with the wind at his back from 195 yards to 18 inches on the ninth hole, he was on his way.

Day made five birdies over his last 10 holes for a 4-under 67, giving him a two-shot lead as he goes for his second PGA Tour victory this year.

He was at 10-under 203.

Nick Watney overcame a double bogey on the par-5 10th hole with four birdies over his last six holes for a 66. He will be in the final group for the first time in nearly four years as he tries to win for the first time since a back injury two years ago.

“To get back in contention, that's why I play golf. I'm super, super excited,” Watney said. “I'm just going to try to embrace everything that comes with tomorrow and hope I have a chance down the last.”

Peter Uihlein finished the front nine with five straight birdies and started the back nine with an eagle. He shot 62, one off Rory McIlroy's course record, and wound up three shots out of the lead and in the penultimate group.

Phil Mickelson shot a 64, his best score of the year. He starts Sunday four shots out of the lead. McIlroy three-putted the last hole and still shot 66. As a testament to the conditions, all he did was shrug. “I didn't play that well. The score sort of flatters me,” he said.

LPGA: In The Colony, Texas, Sung Hyun Park and Jenny Shin finished the rain-delayed first round of the abbreviated LPGA Texas Classic with 6-under 65s to share a one-stroke lead. After Thursday's play was canceled and Friday's began after an 81/2-hour rain delay, the tournament was reduced from 72 holes to 36. There will be no cut, but only the top 70 and ties in the 144-woman field will win prize money.

The second round began Saturday afternoon before the first round ended. Park and Shin were scheduled to start their final rounds Sunday afternoon.

CHAMPIONS TOUR: In The Woodlands, Texas, Bernhard Langer plodded his way to an even-par 72, good enough to maintain the lead at the Insperity Invitational as the leaderboard bunched up behind him. Langer was at 9-under 135 and had a one-shot lead over three players after he followed up his course-record-tying opening-round 63 by making just two birdies and two bogeys at The Woodlands Country Club.

Tom Pernice Jr. (68), Miguel Angel Jimenez (69), Mark Calcavecchia (69) and Scott Dunlap (70) were one stroke behind. Bart Bryant (67) and local favorite Jeff Maggert (71) trailed by two.

GOLFSIXES: In St. Albans, England, rank outsiders before the start, the England Women's team of Charley Hull and Georgia Hall and the European Women's team of Mel Reid and Carlota Ciganda advanced to the GolfSixes quarterfinals.

Solheim Cup teammates Reid and Ciganda did so in thrilling fashion, defeating Thailand 3-0 in their final group game and then beating defending champion Denmark on the first hole of a sudden death playoff, after the teams finished level on points and number of holes won.