Casey still cruising in Match Play
Advertiser News Services
Paul Casey has yet to play the final four holes at Dove Mountain after three days of the Match Play Championship at Marana, Ariz.
That's because the Englishman has won all three of his matches, 5 and 4, the latest over Brian Gay in the third round yesterday. Casey lost to Geoff Ogilvy in the final last year.
"I don't think there's any one particular part of my game that's jumping out that is fantastic right now," he said. "It's just all very, very solid."
Casey, the highest remaining seed at No. 6, advanced to this morning's quarterfinals against Stewart Cink, the lone surviving American.
Cink beat South African Charl Schwartzel in 19 holes, rolling in a 29-foot putt on the 16th and an 18-footer on the 18th to avoid elimination.
Spain's Sergio Garcia advanced to the quarterfinals for the first time in nine appearances, beating Tim Clark of South Africa, 2 and 1. Garcia will play Oliver Wilson, who beat fellow Englishman Luke Donald in 20 holes in a match that exceeded even Cink's in drama.
Wilson's approach on No. 18 landed 2 feet from the cup, but Donald rolled in a 50-footer over several slopes to stay alive.
"A bit harsh, I thought," Wilson said.
Wilson made a nearly-as-difficult putt from 38 feet two holes later, then won the match when Donald missed a 12-footer.
The other two quarterfinal matches have South African Retief Goosen against Colombian Camilo Villegas, and Ian Poulter of England against Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand. Goosen beat Nick Watney 1-up, Villegas defeated Ben Crane, 3 and 2, Poulter beat Jeev Milkha Singh, 5 and 4, and Jaidee defeated Ryo Ishikawa, 5 and 4.
DURANT IN MAYAKOBA LEAD
Joe Durant shot a 5-under 66 yesterday to increase his lead to two strokes in the PGA Tour's Mayakoba Golf Classic at Playa del Carmen, Mexico.
The 45-year-old Durant, a four-time tour winner, had a 12-under 130 total on the Mayakoba Resort's Greg Norman-designed El Camaleon course. He opened with a 64.
J.P. Hayes (67—132) was second, and Cameron Beckman (68—133) was another stroke back.
Castle High alum Dean Wilson shot even-par 71 and was tied for 17th at 138.
TWO SHARE LEAD IN ALLIANZ
Jay Haas and Tom Jenkins shot 8-under 64s to share the first-round lead in the Champions Tour's Allianz Championship at Boca Raton, Fla.
Corey Pavin and Mike Reid were a stroke back, and Tom Lehman, Loren Roberts, John Cook, Jim Roy and Tim Simpson opened with 66s at The Old Course at Broken Sound.
MCMURRAY RACES TO POLE
Jamie McMurray has gone from winning the Daytona 500 to sitting on the pole for tomorrow's Auto Club 500 at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif.
After a whirlwind week of appearances and interviews as the champion of NASCAR's season opener and biggest race, McMurray got back into the cockpit of his No. 1 Chevrolet yesterday and qualified first with a lap of 183.744 mph at the two-mile superspeedway.
Earnhardt Ganassi teammate Juan Pablo Montoya will start alongside McMurray on the front row after a lap of 183.477 mph.
MISSING PRO BOWL COSTLY
Minnesota Vikings left tackle Bryant McKinnie must pay back the NFL for his non-participation in the Pro Bowl.
The NFL said yesterday it will require a $4,285 reimbursement from McKinnie for expenses incurred that week in Miami. McKinnie skipped most of the team practices and obligations, and was then dismissed from the NFC all-star squad.
NFL spokesman Randall Liu also said McKinnie has forfeited his $22,500 game check.
VENUS IN DUBAI FINALS
Venus Williams ended the stirring run of Israel's Shahar Peer, 6-1, 6-4, yesterday in the semifinals of the Dubai Championships at Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Victoria Azarenka ousted Agnieszka Radwanska, 6-3, 6-4, and will face Williams, who is going for her second straight Dubai title.
Last year, Peer was denied a visa by the United Arab Emirates authorities, and didn't compete.
TOP-SEEDED SODERLING FALLS
Top-seeded Robin Soderling of Sweden lost to Michael Llodra of France yesterday, falling 7-6 (2), 6-4 in the quarterfinals of the Open 13 at Marseille, France.
Llodra, runner-up to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga last year, never lost his serve and had 15 aces.
Tsonga joined Llodra in the semifinals with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Illya Marchenko of Ukraine.