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#1 Posted by Dogcat250 7 months 1 week ago
Dogcat250
1550 Forum posts
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Phil Mickelson came to the St. Jude Classic wanting to tune up for the U.S. Open at Pinehurst by finishing strong. He did just that Thursday. Mickelson shot a 3-under 67, birdieing three of his final four holes in windy conditions before a thunderstorm softened up TPC Southwind. It was his first round in the 60s since the third round at the Wells Fargo Championship. He hadnt shot below 70 since. He missed the cut at The Players Championship and tied for 49th last week in the Memorial following a visit from FBI agents and lingering questions about an insider-trading investigation. Lefty hasnt won in 19 events dating to the British Open and is among the players in Tennessee tuning up for Pinehurst. "I did exactly what I need to do and some momentum that I need heading into the U.S. Open," Mickelson said. "Tomorrows round, the same thing. Finish strong and play a good round." Ben Crane shot a 7-under 63 giving him the lead in the suspended first round, taking advantage of the 3 1/2-hour delay that left nearly perfect scoring conditions with no wind and rain-softened greens. He had five of his seven birdies on his final nine, the last a few minutes before play was suspended because of darkness. Sixty players were unable to finish the round. Peter Malnati shot a 65, and Billy Horschel also was 5 under with two holes left to play. Retief Goosen and Joe Durant each had a 66, while Stuart Appleby, Zach Johnson and Jason Bohn were on the course at 4 under. Appleby had a hole-in-one on the 157-yard eighth hole, using a 7-iron. That was his 17th hole, and the last one he completed. Crane needed only 24 putts for his best round of the season, including a 27-footer for birdie on his final hole at No. 9 with only a handful of people watching because officials closed the course to spectators because of the high winds with the storm. "We caught a huge break being on this side of the wave," Crane said. "You know this is ideal Memphis weather. Its as good as it gets. It was calm, barely any wind. The greens softened up. We were able to attack some of the pins." Mickelelson, who tied for second at Southwind last year, was among the 53 players who finished before play was delayed. Even with tricky wind Thursday morning, Mickelson said his focus on each shot was much better. Hes trying to better visualize the shot and curve his irons so that his approach shots land closer to the hole, giving him more tap-in opportunities. Finishing with the three birdies in his final four holes was exactly what he wanted in a round with five birdies and two bogeys. He hit his approach from 135 yards on the par-4 sixth to 5 feet and rolled in the birdie putt. He left himself longer putts with a 7-footer on the par-3 eighth and an 11-footer on the par-4 ninth, but knocked them in for his strong finish. "Ive been struggling with finishing the round strong," Mickelson said. "I had a good round last week on Thursday and then played poorly. To birdie three of the last four made it a great round. Thats exactly what I need to do." Firm greens made it tough to land balls close, but Goosen credited them with helping him roll in some of his birdie putts. He sunk a couple from 5 feet or closer, but also had a couple birdie putts from 14 feet. Goosen also saved par on No. 7 with a 12-foot putt. "The greens are as good as greens as you can get," Goosen said. "The greens are rolling close to 13 on the stimpmeter. They are really good. You hit the right putt, they are going to go in." A seven-time winner on the PGA Tour, Goosen hasnt won on tour since 2009. He has two top-10 finishes this year as he continues his comeback from back surgery in August 2012. He tied for third in Memphis in 2011 and said he really likes the course. Divots: Robert Garrigus withdrew after hurting his wrist in the 18th fairway. He had a 79 that included three bogeys, a double and an 8 on the par-4 17th. ... Players will resume the second round at 7 a.m., with the second round starting approximately 40 minutes later. Kurt Rambis Jersey . -- The San Francisco 49ers have re-signed cornerback Perrish Cox to a one-year contract. Jerry West Jersey . Top-seeded Djokovic, who is making only his second appearance this year after reaching the quarterfinals of the Australian Open, was a 6-3, 6-3 winner over 54th-ranked Istomin of Uzbekistan. "It wasnt as easy as the scoreline indicates," said Djokovic, who has won in Dubai on four occasions. http://www.lakersteamofficial.com/Lebron-James-Lakers-Jersey/ . Vonn had another scary moment at Saturdays World Cup downhill in Val dIsere, ending up clutching her knee in pain after losing her balance and missing a gate. But she gave a reassuring answer shortly afterward, saying no new damage had been done to the surgically repaired knee, and that her plans for the Sochi Olympics were still intact. Elgin Baylor Jersey .Y. -- Sore nose and all, Sidney Crosby had a goal and three assists to help Pittsburgh beat Buffalo 5-3 on Friday night, snapping the Penguins mini-slump and slowing the Sabres late-season surge. Wilt Chamberlain Lakers Jersey . -- Kurt Buschs Sunday at Martinsville Speedway, in some ways, was like his career wrapped into one afternoon.INDIANAPOLIS - Local driver Ed Carpenter has made himself at home on the Indianapolis 500 pole. The last of nine qualifiers to take the track, Carpenter bumped Canadas James Hinchcliffe from the top spot, posting a four-lap average of 231.067 mph to win the 500 pole for the second straight year. "I felt that it was harder," Carpenter said. "It was just a different position because when I made my run last year, we didnt really have anything to lose. This year, being the last guy to go out, I think there was a little bit of pressure to not mess it up." He didnt mess it up, not at all. Carpenters No. 20 Chevrolet was the car to beat all weekend, and the hometown favourite showed no signs of rust in his first IndyCar Series race of the season. He owns Ed Carpenter Racing and decided in November to run only on ovals, where he excels. He turned his car over to Mike Conway on road and street courses, and skipped the first four races of the season. He knew he had the pole secured when he nailed the final two corners on the last lap. "I could really just kind of enjoy it knowing that we were going to be on the pole for the second year," he said. Hinchcliffe, from Oakville, Ont., will start second after sustaining a concussion last weekend in the Grand Prix of Indianapolis. Will Power will join them on the front row. Three-time Indy 500 champion Helio Castroneves was fourth followed by Simon Pagenaud and Marco Andretti. Carlos Munoz, Josef Newgarden and J.R. Hildebrand will be on the third row. Carpenter, the stepson of former speedway executive Tony George, was 10th in last years Indy 500. He is 11th driver to earn consecutive 500 poles and the first since Castroneves in 2009-10. "Its all about the race," the 33-year-old Carpenter said. "Hopefully, we can close the deal this year." As a single-car team last year, Carpenter was unable to get help on data and much-needed setup information. He didnt want a repeat this May, so he hired Hildebrand to drive a second car at Indy for Ed Carpenter Racing. Hildebrand nearly won the Indy 500 as a rookie in 2011, but he crashed exiting the final turn and was passed for the win by the late Dan Wheldon. "I wish we could have got him up on the front row with us, but the shootouts tough," Carpenter said. "The conditions were hard today, but having him go first today also helped me because we were able to make ann adjustment.dddddddddddd" Carpenter thrived in the first year of a new Indy 500 qualifying format. He posted the top qualifying speed Saturday when the fastest nine drivers advanced to Sundays shootout for the pole. Juan Pablo Montoya had the fastest four-lap average (231.007 mph) among drivers ineligible to win the Indianapolis 500 pole and will start 10th. "We have a pretty quick car," Montoya, the 2000 winner, said. "Hopefully, my guys can learn something for the Fast Nine. I think that will put us in a good spot to start the race." Montoya was followed by reigning series champion Scott Dixon and former NASCAR champion Kurt Busch. Busch is set to race 1,100 miles in the Indianapolis 500 and the Coca-Cola 600 on May 25. Busch raced in NASCARs All-Star race the night before and flew back from Concord, North Carolina, on Sunday morning. Busch was humbled when he said hed never be able to duplicate a weekend like this one — "except for maybe next week." Defending 500 champion Tony Kanaan will start 16th. Hinchcliffe appeared to have no problems in the car days after he was cleared to return for his concussion. He paced as he watched Carpenter make his final run, then his chance at the pole end when Carpenter found more speed on his final lap. He was injured last weekend in Saturdays Grand Prix when debris from Justin Wilsons car flew into the cockpit, striking Hinchcliffe in the head. He was taken away from the track on a stretcher, transported to a hospital and diagnosed with a concussion. The 27-year old Canadian was cleared to drive Thursday, and took the wheel back from pinch-driver E.J. Viso. "I had to kind of pretend that I had been here all month and take the feedback my teammates had given me at face value," Hinchcliffe said. "I knew what to expect from the car and that was a huge part of it." For the first time, IndyCar awarded points based on qualifying runs. The top qualifier on Saturday earned 33 points, second place got 32 and so on, all the way to one point for the 33rd-place entrant. T
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