Golf roundup: Sutherland shoots first 59 on Champions Tour


ENDICOTT, N.Y. — Kevin Sutherland was only eight holes into his round Saturday at the Dick’s Sporting Goods Open and already thinking about a 59.

“You’re not supposed to do that, are you?” he said.

The way this magical round went, nothing was going to stop him. Sutherland became the first player in Champions Tour history to shoot a 59, and it might have been even better except for a three-putt bogey from about 40 feet just off the 18th green.

“Thank God I didn’t four-putt,” he said.

Six players have shot 59 on the PGA Tour, including Paul Goydos, Sutherland’s best friend on tour. Goydos was among several players who stood behind the 18th green to watch Sutherland complete a round that was practically flawless until the end.

“Honestly, the ovation I got on 18 … I know Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer are used to that stuff, but to see all those guys behind the green, I couldn’t believe it,” Sutherland said. “I was nervous when I was putting.”

“Honestly, the ovation I got on 18 … I know Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer are used to that stuff, but to see all those guys behind the green, I couldn’t believe it,” Sutherland said. “So when they stood up, everybody stood up around the green and was clapping, I got some chills. I think that’s what I’m going to remember most.”

The 59 gave Sutherland a one-shot lead over Steve Lowery going into the final round. He was at 14-under 130.

Sutherland, playing in only his third Champions Tour event since turning 50 in June, recalls asking some of the players at the start of the week if anyone had ever shot 59 on the senior circuit and was surprised it had not been done.

He would not have seemed a likely candidate. Sutherland’s career-low round on the PGA Tour was a 62 in the 2010 Canadian Open. Even at home in Sacramento, Calif., he never seriously came close to golf’s magic number.

LPGA Championship

PITTSFORD, N.Y. — Brittany Lincicome maintained her lead Saturday after three rounds of the LPGA Championship, the tour’s fourth major championship of the season.

The long-hitting Lincicome began the day at Monroe Golf Club with a three-shot advantage over Inbee Park and Lexi Thompson and shot 1-under 71 to finish at 10-under 206. Lincicome was a shot ahead of Park and Suzann Pettersen. Pettersen had a 67 and Park shot 69.

Mirim Lee was alone in fourth at 7 under after a 69. Seventeen-year-old Lydia Ko had a 71 to join Meena Lee and Gerina Piller at 6 under. Piller shot 69, and Lee had a 71.

Thompson finished with a 74 and was at 4 under.

Lincicome won the 2009 Kraft Nabisco for her lone major title and has five LPGA Tour victories.

Wyndham Championship

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Nick Watney birdied the final hole for a 5-under 65 and a one-stroke lead Saturday after the third round of the Wyndham Championship.

Watney made a 20-foot birdie putt from the right edge of the green on the par-4 18th. The five-time PGA Tour winner had a 14-under 196 total at Sedgefield.

Brad Fritsch was second after a 65.

Freddie Jacobson and second-round co-leader Heath Slocum were 12 under. Jacobson shot a 66, and Slocum had a 68.

Former Wyndham winners Brandt Snedeker and Webb Simpson joined second-round co-leader Scott Langley at 11 under in the final event of the PGA Tour’s regular season. Snedeker and Simpson shot 66, and Langley had a 69.

U.S. Amateur

JOHNS CREEK, Ga. — Canadian Corey Conners and South Korean Gunn Yang advanced Saturday to the final of the U.S. Amateur Championship at the Atlanta Athletic Club.

Conners defeated Denny McCarthy of Maryland 1 up and Yang defeated Frederick Wedel of Texas in 19 holes in the semifinals.

It’s the second straight year that no American has reached the championship match.

The 36-hole championship match is Sunday.