Saturday, July 21, 2018

Johnson Wagner rallies into lead at rain-delayed Safeway Open

NAPA, Calif. — Johnson Wagner avoided drama and bogeys and came in from the rain holding a one-shot lead in the Safeway Open.

Wagner chipped in for birdie on No. 8 to start his climb from a three-shot deficit. He also rolled in a 30-foot birdie putt on No. 12. His best work before the third round was stopped by wet conditions, however, were the par saves.

"I was hanging on, hitting little quack hooks to the green but just somehow getting it up-and-down and making par putts, and really just trying to survive and make as many pars as I could."

He was at 15-under par and facing a short iron into the par-5 16th when a sponge roller couldn't keep water off the front of the green, from where Scott Piercy was trying to play.

Piercy, who had been in the lead since his opening 62 that set the course record at Silverado, was at 14 under. Also at 14 under was Patton Kizzire, who was facing a 20-foot birdie putt on the 17th green.

The third round is set to resume this morning. Starting times for the final round already had been moved up because of rain in the forecast.

CHAMPIONS: Bernhard Langer birdied the final four holes for his second straight 5-under 67 and a two-stroke lead in the SAS Championship in Cary, N.C. Langer had a bogey-free round at Prestonwood in the regular-season finale to move to 10-under 134. Larry Mize (69) and first-round leader Doug Garwood (72) were tied for second.

LPGA: Alison Lee took a three-stroke lead in the KEB Hana Bank Championship in Incheon, South Korea, putting the 21-year-old UCLA student in position for her first victory. Lee shot 4-under 68 to rally past second-round leader Brittany Lang (72), her U.S. Solheim Cup teammate. Playing her second season on the tour, Lee was at 13-under 203.