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Fujikawa remains 4 shots back in Puerto Rico


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POSTED: Saturday, March 14, 2009

RIO GRANDE, Puerto Rico » Matt Jones shot a 30 on his back nine yesterday and finished with an 8-under 64 to match the course record, giving him a share of the 36-hole lead with fellow Australian Jason Day in the Puerto Rico Open.

Playing in swirling wind and occasional rain at Trump International Golf Club, Jones tied the course record set last year by Bo Van Pelt in the inaugural event.

“;Actually, I find the course easier to play in the wind than with no wind because it changes the club you hit off the tee,”; Jones said. “;So the holes you're into the wind you're still going to be hitting drivers off them anyway, so I like the wind.”;

Two dozen players were separated by four shots, a group that included Charles Howell III, Hawaii's Tadd Fujikawa and U.S. Open runner-up Rocco Mediate, all at 6 under. Howell had a 69, Fujikawa shot a 68, and Mediate had a 70.

Fujikawa has made the cut in all three PGA Tour events he has played this year.

The 21-year-old Day, a rookie on the PGA Tour last year who failed to live up to his hype and wound up losing his card, had a 68 to match Jones at 10-under 134. Day eagled the 600-yard, par-5 15th that plays into the coastal wind.

“;It's the first time I've been in this position going into the weekend, and I'm just going to soak it up and try to get some strength out of it,”; Day said.

Bart Bryant, whose victories include the Memorial and Tour Championship, was a shot back after a 68.

“;There's not a Tiger Woods or a Phil Mickelson or somebody up there that you know they're going to be up there at the end,”; the 46-year-old Bryant said. “;So I think there's just a lot of unknowns - but somebody's going to play really good and someone's going to win.”;

Wind and rain were expected to continue through the weekend on the 7,526-yard tropical course.

Sindelar leads Champions

SANTA CLARITA, Calif. » Joey Sindelar shot an 8-under 64 yesterday to take a one-stroke lead over two-time winner Tom Purtzer in the AT&T Champions Classic.

The 50-year-old Sindelar, winless in 22 starts on the Champions Tour after winning seven times on the PGA Tour, hasn't had a bogey in 38 holes. On Sunday in Newport Beach, he shot a 63 to tie for second behind Eduardo Romero in the Toshiba Classic.

“;I've always enjoyed being a ball-striker. It's what thrills me,”; Sindelar said. “;But that's not what wins tournaments. It took me 25 years to learn that.”;

Sindelar one-putted 11 greens and finished with 25 putts overall. With the 64, he matched the best score in the event since it moved to Valencia in 2001.

“;I've been spending more time on my putting,”; Sindelar said. “;That work is showing. I'm not making everything, but it is definitely improving.”;

After opening with six straight pars, Sindelar played the final 12 holes in 8 under - eagling the par-5 ninth and adding six birdies.

Jay Haas and David Edwards opened with 67s on the Valencia Country Club course, and Bernhard Langer, Bruce Lietzke, Ben Crenshaw and John Cook shot 68s. Edwards got into the event as the last alternate when R.W. Eaks withdrew.