Golf roundup: Sheldon captures Women’s Amateur

She edges Nelson, Martin for crown

Jim Furyk had his best day ever at Firestone, making seven birdies and an eagle to take a two-shot lead at the Bridgestone Invitational.
Jim Furyk had his best day ever at Firestone, making seven birdies and an eagle to take a two-shot lead at the Bridgestone Invitational. –Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

If Claire Sheldon wanted to win her second Massachusetts Women’s Amateur championship, she’d need to go through both players who played for the title a year ago.

No easy task, but Sheldon met the challenge. She beat defending champion Katie Nelson in the semifinals Thursday morning, then knocked off Tracy Martin, 2 and 1, in the afternoon to win the 109th Women’s Amateur at Brae Burn Country Club in Newton.

A year ago, Nelson topped Martin in the championship match.

Sheldon, who plays out of The Country Club — site of her 2007 Mass. Am title victory — advanced to the final by beating Nelson, 1 up, in the semifinals. Martin earned her spot by beating Tara Joy Connelly in a match that went 19 holes.

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In the final, Martin won the first two holes with a birdie and a par. Sheldon wiped out the deficit, then took a 1-up lead, by winning Nos. 5-7, all with pars. She held the 1-up lead at the turn.

Martin squared the match by winning the 10th hole with a birdie, but Sheldon pulled ahead by making a birdie on the par-5 14th. She never made worse than a par on the back nine, winning the title with a par on the downhill 17th.

In the President’s Cup division for higher handicaps, Marion Maney beat Pamela Kiley, 5 and 4, for the title.

Junior PGA — With one round to play at the 37th Junior PGA Championship in Fort Wayne, Ind., Megan Khang is in fifth place, four strokes behind the leader.

Khang, a 14-year-old from Rockland, shot a 2-under-par 70 at Sycamore Hills Golf Club, and is 5 under par through 54 holes. The lead is being shared at 9 under by Ariya Jutanugarn (71) of Thailand and Samantha Wagner (69) of Windermere, Fla.

Only the top 30 and ties qualify for the final round. Madi Mae West (87) of Shrewsbury also competed.

In the boys’ division, Patrick Frodigh of Westwood shot a third-round 75, but failed to advance, as did Billy Walthouse (82) of Longmeadow. Robby Shelton of Wilmer, Ala., had a third-round 64 to take a one-shot lead.

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WGC — Jim Furyk finished made seven birdies and had a 30-foot eagle putt to finish with a 7-under 63 for his best score ever at Firestone and a two-shot lead over Lee Slattery of England in the Bridgetone Invitational in Akron, Ohio.

Luke Donald, the world’s No. 1 player, and Masters champion Bubba Watson were among those at 66. Thirty players in the 78-man field at this World Golf Championship managed to break par.

Tiger Woods was not among them.

He was 3 under after back-to-back birdies to start the back nine, but had to lay up with his third shot on the par-5 16th after driving into the trees and ended his round with a three-putt bogey from 25 feet for a 70. It was his second-worst start at Firestone, a course where he has won seven times. The other was a 74 in 2010, his last week without a swing coach.

Defending champion Adam Scott, in his first tournament since making four straight bogeys to lose the British Open, had a four-putt from just inside 10 feet early in his round and shot 71. So did Phil Mickelson, while British Open champion Ernie Els had a 73.

PGA — Andres Romero had seven birdies in a bogey-free first round at the Reno-Tahoe Open to take a one-point lead over South Korean rookie Seung-Yul Noh in Reno, Nev.

Romero, from Argentina, had 14 points under the modified Stableford scoring system that puts a premium on aggressive play.

Players receive eight points for double eagle, five for eagle, two for birdie, zero for par, minus-one for bogey, and minus-three for double bogey or worse. It’s the first time the scoring system has been used on the PGA Tour since the 2006 International in Colorado.

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The 21-year-old Noh seven birdies and a bogey for 13 points at Montreux Golf & Country Club, where only Americans have won in the tourney’s 13 previous years.

Josh Teater, John Mallinger and Ricky Barnes were tied for third with 11 points.

John Daly was in a group another point back after carding six birdies and two bogeys.

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