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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, March 27, 2010

Four share lead in Palmer Invitational

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Ernie Els is atop the leaderboard at Bay Hill and not sure how he got there.

He's not alone.

Davis Love III didn't make a par until his 10th hole yesterday in the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Orlando, Fla. He had six bogeys and still wound up with a share of the 36-hole lead on the PGA Tour for the first time in seven years.

Els was 3 feet from being under water and out of the hunt until he salvaged an unlikely par, spurring him to four birdies in a five-hole stretch and in great shape going into the weekend. Ben Curtis bogeyed his first two holes and shot his best round of the year.

One shot out of the lead was Phil Mickelson, who hit two balls in the water off the tee and one ball in the hole from the fairway.

"It's been kind of weird, but a little surprised that I'm in the lead," Els said after his 3-under 69. "But you know, we're there. It should be an interesting weekend, and obviously looking forward to it."

Love had seven birdies, two of those when he holed out a chip and a bunker shot, and settled for a 71. Curtis shot 31 on the back nine on his way to a 67, while D.J. Trahan shot 68.

They were at 7-under 137, one shot ahead of Mickelson (67), Retief Goosen (67) and Kevin Na (70).

"If you would have said Wednesday night whenever I was leaving the course, 'You'll be 7 under after two days and right at the top of the leaderboard,' I'd have taken it," Love said. "It's right where you want to be. You want to be in the hunt."


Price, Beck share Champions lead: Nick Price fired a 6-under 66 for a share of the lead with Chip Beck after the first round of the Champions Tour's $1.6 million Cap Cana Championship at Cap Cana, Dominican Republic.

Price and Beck took advantage of light winds and brilliant sunshine at the 7,176-yard Punta Espada Golf Club to head the 78-player field. Fred Couples, already a two-time winner on the Champions Tour this season, was in a group at 67 on the par-72, Jack Nicklaus-designed course.


Nagasu leads Worlds: While Olympic champion Kim Yu-na crumbled, American Mirai Nagasu soared.

Nagasu was in first place after a nearly flawless short program at the World Figure Skating Championships yesterday in Turin, Italy. Kim, who was majestic in winning gold in Vancouver, was in seventh place after three major errors. Nagasu scored a 70.40, two points ahead of Olympic silver medalist Mao Asada of Japan.

Olympic pairs champions Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir of Canada added a world title to their gold medal, edging American training partners Meryl Davis and Charlie White.


America's Cup free on legal action: The America's Cup has finally sailed away from one of the bitterest chapters in its 159-year history.

The new trustee, San Francisco's Golden Gate Yacht Club, announced yesterday that it and vanquished trustee Societe Nautique de Geneve agreed to drop their remaining legal actions against each other, the remnants of a 2 1/2-year court fight between two of the world's richest men.

The agreement was signed a month and a half after the speedy space-age trimaran owned by American software tycoon Larry Ellison routed a catamaran sailed by defending champion Alinghi of Switzerland in Valencia, Spain.


No. 2 Djokovic loses Sony opener: With a listless, sloppy performance, No. 2-seeded Novak Djokovic lost his opening match yesterday at the Sony Ericsson Open in Key Biscayne, Fla., to Olivier Rochus, 6-2, 6-7 (7), 6-4.

On another dismal day for U.S. men, James Blake and Sam Querrey squandered one-set leads and were eliminated. In women's play, No. 2-seeded Caroline Wozniacki, No. 14 Kim Clijsters and defending champion Victoria Azarenka advanced to the third round.


A-Rod's meeting with feds delayed: Alex Rodriguez's meeting yesterday with federal investigators probing a Canadian doctor was delayed, and the third baseman remained at spring training with the New York Yankees. The meeting was postponed by mutual consent, a person familiar with the delay said on condition of anonymity.

QB Batch stays with Steelers: Quarterback Charlie Batch has signed a two-year contract to remain with the Pittsburgh Steelers as a backup. The 35-year-old Batch has been under contract with the Steelers for eight seasons, although he sat out 2004 and 2008 with injuries.

Sprint Cup qualifying rained out: For the third year in a row, qualifying for the Goody's Fast Pain Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway in Virginia was rained out. The field for tomorrow's NASCAR Sprint Cup race will be set by point standings with Kevin Harvick and Matt Kenseth starting on the front row.

Tennis player fined for HGH: Wayne Odesnik, an American tennis player ranked No. 98, pleaded guilty yesterday to importing human growth hormone into Australia before a tournament leading to the Australian Open. He was fined more than $7,000 and could be banned from tennis for two years.