Fujikawa fades from contention in Puerto Rico


POSTED: Sunday, March 15, 2009

RIO GRANDE, Puerto Rico » Michael Bradley shot a 4-under 68 in windy conditions yesterday for a share of the third-round lead with Australian Jason Day in the PGA Tour's Puerto Rico Open.

Hawaii's Tadd Fujikawa fell out of contention, shooting a 75 that left him nine shots back.

Bradley, whose last top-10 finish came at the 2000 Michelob Championship at Kingsmill, 64 tournaments ago, matched Day (70) at 12-under 204—four shots clear on the tropical, 7,526-yard Trump International course.

“;Frankly, you're aiming 30, 40, 50 feet left of really where you want the ball to go,”; the 42-year-old Bradley said. “;You've got to hit it on that line and just trust that the wind's going to take it.

“;It's been a while since I've been in this position, especially on a Sunday. So (there are) a lot of emotions that I have to handle, plus the conditions of the golf course, and the wind and whatnot.”;

The 21-year-old Day hit into the water off the tee on the par-4 17th, but rallied to save par with a 12-foot putt.

“;The 17th was a poor decision off the tee,”; Day said. “;I should have taken a 3-iron instead of a 3-wood, and I tried to be a little more aggressive, and instead I hit it right in the water.”;

He has putted well on the windy coastal course between the Atlantic and mist-shrouded mountains.

“;My putting saved me so much today,”; Day said. “;I hit a lot of chip shots to 10, 12 feet and holed them, so I was very happy with the speed. My putts were great, and the lines that I was reading was really good, too.

“;I've just got to make sure tomorrow that I do the exact same as I've done the last three days. I don't want to try and be too aggressive out there. I just want to play my game and take it one shot at a time, but I've certainly played well to be in the position I am today.”;

Bradley praised the young Australian.

“;If I can't win, I would love to see him win this golf tournament,”; Bradley said.

Jay Williamson (67), Brett Quigley (69), Greg Chalmers (70), Omar Uresti (70), Kent Jones (70), Cliff Kresge (72), Bart Bryant (73) and Bryce Molder (72).

Matt Jones, tied for the second-round lead with Day after matching the course record with a 64, shot a 79 to drop into a tie for 37th at 3 under. The Australian had two double bogeys, eight bogeys and three birdies.

The $3.5 million tournament is being held opposite the World Golf Championship at Doral, which has attracted the best players from around the world.


Sindelar closes in on win

SANTA CLARITA, Calif. » Joey Sindelar moved a step closer to his first Champions Tour victory, shooting a 2-under 70 to take a one-stroke lead over Don Pooley 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, had a 10-under 134 total on the Valencia Country Club course. After shooting a 63 on Sunday to tie for second in the Toshiba Classic at Newport Beach, he opened with a 64 on Friday.

Sindelar stretched his bogey-free streak to 42 holes before dropping a stroke on the par-4 fifth. He also bogeyed Nos. 8 and 10, but played the final seven holes in 4 under to top the leaderboard for the second straight day.

Pooley shot a bogey-free 65, the best round of the day.


American wins New Zealand

QUEENSTOWN, New Zealand » American Alex Prugh won the New Zealand Open today for his first Nationwide Tour title, pulling away with his second eagle of the round and finishing three strokes ahead of countryman Martin Piller.

The 24-year-old former University of Washington player finished with an 8-under 64 for a 19-under 269 total on The Hills course.

Prugh eagled the par-5 17th to take a four-stroke lead, and also had an eagle on the par-4 eighth. He had four back-nine birdies.

Piller, the third-round leader, shot a 68.

American Jim Herman had a 68 to finish third at 14 under.