Briny Baird is up by two shots at Open

Briny Baird reacts after putting on the 17th hole during the third round of the Open at CordeValle Golf Club.

SAN MARTIN, Calif. — Briny Baird drove the 17th green and made a 15-foot eagle putt for a 7-under-par 64 to take a two-shot lead at the Open and give him a chance to finally win a PGA Tour event.


Baird has gone 357 tournaments over 12 years on tour without hoisting a trophy.

It is only the third time that Baird, who is at 13-under 200, has been atop the leaderboard going into the final round on the PGA Tour, and the first time since he was tied after 54 holes at Disney seven years ago.

So how does he approach this opportunity?

“Whatever I thought about the other times, throw that out the window,” Baird said. “At Disney, I just played so-so. Unless you have an eight-shot lead, so-so is not going to cut it.

“If I can feel tomorrow like I did today ... of course, if I knew how to do that, I’d be something,” he said.

Baird has been around long enough to know that anything that happen in the final round, especially with Ernie Els and Paul Casey in the last group with him at CordeValle.

Els failed to make up any ground on the easier back nine and had 67. Casey saved par from a hazard on the final hole to salvage 68.

Tiger Woods, in his first event in nearly two months, shot 68 and is nine shots behind.

“It’s getting better,” said Woods, who is playing for the first time in seven weeks. “I’m improving day by day, which is good. Obviously, tomorrow I need to improve a lot and make putts and post a really low one.”


CHAMPIONS TOUR: In The Woodlands, Brad Faxon moved into position for his first Champions Tour title, shooting 7-under-par 65 in windy conditions Saturday to take a one-stroke lead in the Insperity Championship.

Faxon, an eight-time winner on the PGA Tour who turned 50 on Aug. 1, had a bogey-free round to reach 10-under 134 at The Woodlands Country Club. Tommy Armour III, celebrating his 52nd birthday, was second after a 67. He also is winless on the 50-and-over tour.

Eduardo Romero (68) was two strokes back. Jay Haas (68), Olin Browne (68) and Schwab Cup points leader Tom Lehman (70) were 7-under, and defending champion Fred Couples was 4 -under after -72.


LPGA TOUR: In Incheon, South Korea, South Korea’s Soo-Jin Yang, of South Korea, matched the course record with 7-under-par 65 to take a one-stroke lead over top-ranked Yani Tseng and two-time defending champion Na Yeon Choi in the Hana Bank Championship.

The 20-year-old Yang had a 10-under 134 total on Sky 72 Golf Club’s Ocean Course.

Choi shot 68, and Tseng had 70.


ONEASIA TOUR: In Cheonan, South Korea, Rickie Fowler shot 8-under-par 63 to take a four-stroke lead after the third round of the Korea Open as Rory McIlroy tumbled down the leaderboard.

Fowler is at 13-under 200 total for the tournament.

Yang, playing in front of his home crowd, was in second after a 67, two strokes ahead of fellow South Korean Kim Meen-whee, who had a 66.

McIlroy struggled around the course to post a 73, leaving the U.S. Open champion 10 shots off the pace.


EUROPEAN TOUR: In Madrid, England’s Lee Slattery extended his lead at the Madrid Masters to two strokes after shooting 3-under 69 in the third round.

Slattery is two shots ahead of Italian Lorenzo Gagli (69) and Australian Brett Rumford (68).

Former Augusta State player Oliver Wilson is nine shots back after 74.


NATIONWIDE TOUR: In Chattanooga, Tenn., John Mallinger had a bogey-free 7-under-par 65 to retain his two-shot lead in the Children’s Hospital Classic.

Mallinger, who is at 20-under 196, has made one bogey in the tournament. Billy Hurley III (66) is in second place and Brice Garnett (66) is three shots off Malllinger’s pace.





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