Friday, May 25, 2018

Bradley keeps Byron Nelson Championship lead

IRVING, Texas — Keegan Bradley still hasn't gotten things right on the 18th hole at the Byron Nelson Championship, even when finally going left.

His bogeys on the closing hole at TPC Four Seasons haven't cost him the lead yet.

Bradley overcame consecutive bogeys early and bogeyed No. 18 for the third round in a row to finish with 2-under 68 Saturday, which kept him in the lead for the third round in a row.

"(Today) is the day. Right down the middle," Bradley said about that last hole. "'I'm due!"

Bradley's 13-under 197 gave him a one-stroke lead over Sang-Moon Bae, who had his third consecutive 66. Tom Gillis (67) was two strokes back, and Scott Piercy (66) was three back.

After going way right off the tee at the par-4 18th the first two rounds, Bradley smashed his drive Saturday down the left side toward the water. The ball stayed dry but settled behind a large rock. He was forced to punch back into the fairway.

Bradley's approach settled on the front edge of the green, and he almost saved par. The ball rolled just over the lip of the cup.

"I thought I made the putt, which would have been exciting," Bradley said. "But 5 on that hole from where I hit it off the tee is a pretty good score."

Bradley is trying to win this tournament for the second time in three years. He could also become the Nelson's first wire-to-wire winner since Tom Watson in 1980.

"Should be easier than having to come from behind," Bradley said. "I have felt comfortable out there, haven't felt nervous. I feel like I put the time in. I feel like this is where I should be when I play well, near the lead or in the lead."

Bradley got his first PGA Tour victory as a rookie at the Nelson two years ago. He followed that by winning the PGA Championship that season and the World Golf Championship's Bridge­stone Invitational in 2012.

The nephew of LPGA great Pat Bradley came from behind on the final day for all those wins.

When 83 players made the cut of par 141 after the tournament's second round, there were threesomes instead of twosomes for the third round. A secondary cut trimmed the field to 72 for the final round. Bradley plays with Bae in the final group; Gillis is paired with Piercy.

LPGA: Chella Choi shot her second straight 6-under 66 to take a one-stroke lead at 17-under 199 over second-round leader Jessica Korda (69) and Anna Nordqvist, who broke the course record with 61 in the third round of the Mobile Bay LPGA Classic in Mobile, Ala. Nordqvist broke the record of 62 set by Sydnee Michaels on Friday at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail's Magnolia Grove complex. Karrie Webb (69) was at 15 under. Tampa resident Kristy McPherson (70) was at 6 under.