Sunday, April 07, 2002

U.S. Open champ leads BellSouth

Putting woes hurt Mickelson

The Associated Press

Retief Goosen shoots out of a bunker.
(AP photo)
| ZOOM |
        DULUTH, Ga. — Retief Goosen has made a bunch of long putts at the BellSouth Classic. Phil Mickelson couldn't make one from 3 feet — and it cost him the lead.

        Goosen shot a 4-under-par 68 in the third round Saturday, seizing a two-stroke advantage over Mickelson on a course that's doing a pretty good impression of Augusta National.

        Three days of sun and steady breezes turned the greens rock-hard at the TPC at Sugarloaf, mimicking conditions that will be the norm in the Masters next weekend.

        “If you get on the wrong side of the flag, anything can happen — no matter how good your short game is,” said Goosen, who knows a thing or two about missing short putts.

        Mickelson found out just how tricky those greens can be, four-putting the 13th to rekindle memories of a similar debacle at The Players Championship.

        Lefty missed a birdie attempt from 3 feet and needed two more putts to get down. Still, he wasn't too upset about shooting 71 in the difficult conditions.

        “Retief played an incredible round to shoot 4 under on a day like today,” Mickelson said. “I feel like I've played three good, solid rounds. I feel like if I can do one more good, solid round, I should have a good opportunity to win.”

        Goosen, whose only victory on American soil came at the U.S. Open last year, was at 14 under with a 202 total.

        LEGENDS OF GOLF: Doug Tewell made an eagle from the fairway on the first hole — a great start to a day that left him in the lead after the second round at St.Augustine, Fla.

        Tewell used a 6-iron to sink his second shot from 173 yards on the par-4 opening hole. It was the highlight of a round of 6-under 66 that left him at 9-under 135 for the event.

        One behind was his playing partner, Stewart Ginn, who shot a 67. Tom Jenkins shot the low round of the day, a 65 that left him tied with Hale Irwin, two strokes back at 137.

        OFFICE DEPOT: Se Ri Pak, widening her lead with an eagle on the hole she double bogeyed a day earlier, shot her second consecutive 4-under 68 to take a three-stroke advantage into the final round in Los Angles.

        On the 463-yard, par-5 No. 17, where she had hit in the water and three-putted from 11 feet for a 7 the previous day, she hit a good drive, stroked her 9-iron onto the fringe 18 feet from the pin, then rolled in the winding putt for an eagle 3.

        PORTUGUESE OPEN: Sweden's Carl Pettersson and England's David Gilford shared the lead at 2-under 142 through two rounds at Faro, Portugal. The tournament was cut to 54 holes because of rain and wind.


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