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Golf roundup

'Stupid plays' derail Stricker

Streelman now leads Barclays

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Associated Press / August 24, 2008
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Steve Stricker lost a ball and a big lead yesterday at sun-baked Ridgewood Country Club in Paramus, N.J., leaving Kevin Streelman atop the leaderboard and more than two dozen players in the title chase for The Barclays after Round 3.

After fading his drive into the rough on the par-4 12th, Stricker hit an approach shot from a tough angle that skipped along the far side of the left rough and into a tangled mess of shoulder-high grass, bushes, and weeds.

Despite TV replays and a large search party, the ball couldn't be located, and Stricker - four strokes ahead after 10 holes - took a penalty stroke and trudged back to the spot where he hit the costly shot.

Stricker, the defending champion, advanced the new ball 40 yards short of the green, hit his fifth shot 30 feet past the hole, and two-putted for a triple-bogey-7 to drop to 7 under - a stroke behind Sergio Garcia.

"I got off to a good start, then I made two stupid plays in a row on 11 and 12," Stricker said. "The one at 12 was one of the dumbest plays I ever made trying to do what I did out of the rough there. From that point on, it was a struggle to get in."

By the time Stricker signed for a 6-over-par 77, he was four strokes back at 4 under in a 12-way tie for 11th.

Stricker was 12 under through six holes, then dropped a stroke on No. 7 to end a 23-hole stretch without a bogey. He also bogeyed the 11th, made the triple on 12, and dropped three more strokes with bogeys on 14, 16, and 17. "I just stunk it up," he said. "I've got to try to regroup."

Streelman, a 29-year-old Q School graduate in his rookie season, took the lead at 8 under with a 25-foot birdie putt from the fringe on the par-4 16th and parred the final two holes for a 68 and an 8-under 205 total.

LPGA - Helen Alfredsson shot a 67 (10-under 134) to take a one-stroke lead over Sophie Gustafson (68) after the second round of the Safeway Classic in Portland, Ore.

Paula Creamer (68) and Kelli Kuehne (70) are at 137. Lorena Ochoa and first-round leader Angela Park are in a group five shots back, and Annika Sorenstam rebounded from a first-round 72 to shoot 68, putting her among nine players at 140.

US Amateur - New Zealander Danny Lee moved within one victory of supplanting Tiger Woods as the youngest champion in this event's history.

If he wins, Lee (18 years 1 month) would be 6 months 29 days younger than Woods was when he won his first Amateur in 1994.

Lee defeated Georgia freshman Patrick Reed, 3 and 2, in the semifinals and will play Florida State sophomore Drew Kittleson in the 36-hole final at Pinehurst, N.C. Kittleson beat Georgia senior Adam Mitchell, 4 and 2.

Champions - Scott Simpson matched the lowest round of the Boeing Classic in Snoqualmie, Wash., with a 6-under 66 to hold a two-shot lead over David Edwards (67 -135).

European - Darren Clarke shot a 66 (12-under 198) to take a three-stroke lead over Henrik Stenson (68) at the KLM Open in Zandvoort, Netherlands.

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