NAPLES, Fla. — Ai Miyazato of Japan kept telling herself to be patient and the putts would start falling. It all came together Friday at the Titleholders, where she felt as if she couldn’t miss until her final putt dropped for an 8-under 64 and a one-shot lead.
Two big birdie runs gave Miyazato a good chance to finish off the year with her third win. She finished the front nine with four birdies in a five-hole stretch, then ran off three straight birdies on the back nine at The TwinEagles Club, which had given her fits in the opening round.
Miyazato was at 10-under 134, one shot clear of U.S. Women’s Open Na Yeon Choi, who also felt comfortable with the putter on the expansive greens with big undulations. Choi also finished with a big putt, from about 12 feet, only it was for par.
COCHRAN, TRIPLETT SHARE LEAD: In Pebble Beach, Calif., Russ Cochran shot a 7-under 65 on Friday at Del Monte for a share of the Pebble Beach Invitational lead with fellow Champions Tour player Kirk Triplett.
Triplett had a 69 at Del Monte to match Cochran at 9-under 135 in the tournament that features 81 players from the PGA, LPGA, Champions and Web.com tours.
John Mallinger, the 2010 winner, was a stroke back after a 69 at Spyglass Hill.
William McGirt and Robert Streb were 7 under. McGirt had a 71 at Spyglass, and Streb shot a 68 at Pebble Beach, the site of the final round Sunday.
Scott Stallings, the first-round leader after a 64 at Del Monte, had a 74 at Spyglass to drop into a group at 6 under with Tommy Gainey, Bryce Molder and Mark Brown.
Hall of Famer Annika Sorenstam was 5 under after a 69 at Spyglass.
STENSON LEADS IN SOUTH AFRICA: In Johannesburg, Henrik Stenson opened a four-shot lead at the South African Open with a second-round 65 before play was suspended for the day because of an electrical storm with much of the field yet to finish.
Stenson’s 7-under 65, to go with his opening 66, put him at 13 under, ahead of Swedish compatriot Magnus Carlsson, who shot a 67 on Friday to move to second at 9 under.
First-round leader Merrick Bremner of South Africa was also at 9 under but still had four holes to play when they were called in for lightning at the Serengeti Golf and Wildlife Estate.
Seeking a first tournament win in three years — and first on the European Tour in five years — Stenson had five birdies and an eagle.
CAMPBELL LEADS; MCILROY MISSES CUT: In Hong Kong, Michael Campbell led a host of 40-somethings atop the leaderboard at a Hong Kong Open that lost defending champion Rory McIlroy when he failed to make the cut on Friday.
The 43-year-old Campbell holed a 10-foot birdie at the last for a 6-under 64 that gave him a one-stroke lead at 9 under on the Fanling course at Hong Kong Golf Club. McIlroy shot a 72 to finish at 5 over after two rounds.
Four other over-40s were right behind Campbell. Miguel Angel Jimenez, 48, shot a 67 to share second with 47-year-old Zhang Lian-wei (66) and 40-year-old Fredrik Andersson Hed (66). And 42-year-old Anders Hansen matched Campbell’s 64 to sit fifth on 7 under.
GUYATT MAINTAINS 2-STROKE LEAD: In Melbourne, Australia, overnight leader Matthew Guyatt shot a 3-under 69 Friday to maintain his two-shot lead after the second round of the Australian Masters.
The Australian was at 10-under 134 on the Kingston Heath sand-belt course in south Melbourne. Michael Hendry of New Zealand also shot a 69 and was in second place.
Adam Scott, playing in the same group as 2010 U.S. Open champion Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland, had a 70 and was in third, three shots behind Guyatt. Defending champion Ian Poulter of England shot 72 and was tied for fourth, five strokes behind.
McDowell shot 77 and was at 4-over, 14 strokes behind.
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