Saturday, February 24, 2018
Golf

Record back nine lifts Casey

IRVING, Texas — Paul Casey was scuffling midway through his second round at the Byron Nelson Championship, hoping he could do enough just to make the cut.

After a record back nine, Casey was near the top of a crowded leaderboard. He was in a group of eight at 6-under 134, two strokes behind leader Brendon Todd.

Casey was over par Friday before matching the PGA Tour record for the best score on a back nine, 8-under 27 with six birdies and an eagle. That was part of his 7-under 63 that was the low round of the day, though he could never remember such a good nine. "On par-3 courses, I think," Casey said. "I like to think I would be good at shooting low rounds of golf through the past, but certainly nothing like that."

When he made the turn, he was coming off a three-putt at No. 9, his third bogey of the day. The 36-year-old Englishman, whose only PGA Tour victory was five years ago, was then 2 over for the tournament, even after making a 9-foot eagle putt on the par-5 seventh hole. "I think it's easier when your back is up against the wall, like I was today," Casey said. "I was backed into a corner and had to do something. A little shift in, let's say, attitude, and a little shift in goals."

LPGA: Hee Young Park topped the leaderboard at 8 under in the suspended second round of the Kingsmill Championship in Williamsburg, Va. The South Korean shot 3-under 68 to take a one-stroke lead over Stacy Lewis, Brittany Lang, Lexi Thompson, Azahara Munoz and Lizette Salas. The second-ranked Lewis, in position to take the top spot in the world ranking from Inbee Park, shot 65, and Lang finished with 68. Thompson, Munoz and Salas were unable to finish the round because of darkness after the start was delayed 3½ hours because of overnight rain. Coming off a victory two weeks ago in the North Texas LPGA Shootout, Lewis would jump to No. 1 with a victory or a solo second-place finish, as long as third-ranked Lydia Ko doesn't win. Ko, 2 under with six holes left in the round, needs a victory to move to No. 1. Park is skipping the tournament.

Champions Tour: Mark Calcavecchia made an 8-foot birdie putt on the final hole to take a one-stroke lead over Jay Haas after the second round of the Regions Tradition at Shoal Creek in Birmingham, Ala. Calcavecchia shot his second straight 3-under 69 to reach 6 under; Haas had 70 after they came in as part of a four-way tie in the major championship. Haas missed a 4-footer on No. 18. Calcavecchia's main concern is a rib problem he aggravated late in Thursday's round, leading to upper back spasms. He said it began flaring again after swings starting on No. 14 Friday. "It's like a delayed reaction, then it kind of goes away,'' he said.

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