Rookie Simpson grabs first lead of the year


POSTED: Saturday, August 29, 2009

JERSEY CITY, N.J. » Webb Simpson looked at the scores and the weather, neither of which indicated an easy time yesterday at Liberty National. He quickly settled on a simple game plan yesterday and made it pay off in The Barclays.

Simpson took advantage on some of the shorter holes to give him a cushion for the inevitable mistakes. It led to a 3-under 68 on a long, tough and wet afternoon that put the 24-year-old rookie atop the leaderboard for the first time all year.

“;My caddie and I talked beforehand about taking advantage of the par 5s and the shorter par 4s, just because we knew we were going to make bogeys,”; Simpson said. “;It was just one of those long, tough days. But I feel good with where I'm at.”;

He was at 8-under 134, two shots clear of Paul Goydos and Steve Marino, who started the second round tied for the lead and did well to get around in even-par 71.

Tiger Woods had a 72, yet still moved up 10 spots on the leaderboard into a tie for 17th at even-par 142. For the second straight day, he refused to meet with the reporters to discuss his round.


Bader takes lead

Beth Bader shot an 8-under 64 at the Safeway Classic to take a one-stroke lead into the second round at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club.

“;Just a nice, relaxing day,”; she said. “;I had a great groove.”;

Bader's low score came early in the day before the winds picked up and rain moved in over the course west of Portland. Anna Nordqvist and Seon Hwa Lee each had 65s, a stroke in front of a group that were two shots back of Bader.

Bader's round was her best since 2007. It was her best start to a tournament since the season-opening event in 2003.

Defending champion Cristie Kerr had a 69, playing in a star-studded group with Michelle Wie (68) and Lorena Ochoa (70).


O'Meara eagles 18

Still winless on the Champions Tour, Mark O'Meara eagled the 18th hole to take a two-shot lead over a jumbled field after the first round of the Boeing Classic.

Playing the uphill, 498-yard par-5, O'Meara knocked his second shot from about 205 yards onto the green, then made a 17-foot putt to separate himself from a pack of 15 players within three shots of the lead.

Lawrie spotless in Europe

Paul Lawrie shot a second straight bogey-free round with a 3-under 69, for a two-stroke lead at the Johnnie Walker Championship in Scotland.

The 1999 British Open champion had six birdies and an eagle over 36 holes. Jonathan Caldwell (66) of Northern Ireland is in second place.