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Lang grabs early LPGA Classic lead

Saturday, 29 August 2015 00:00 Published in Sports

PRATVILLE — Brittany Lang, newly selected for the US Solheim Cup team, validated captain Juli Inkster’s confidence on Thursday by grabbing the first-round lead in the LPGA Classic.
Lang got off to a sizzling start on the par-72 Senator course with five birdies in the first seven holes. She was seven-under through 12 and looked set for a possible course record until she was slowed by bogeys at 13 and 14.
"It was just one of those days," said Lang, who birdied 16 and 17 to hold a two-stroke lead over Tiffany Joh, Sydnee Michaels and Ryann O'Toole after 18 holes.
"It was so enjoyable," Lang added. "I wasn't thinking about a whole lot. You know, I was just super committed to seeing my shots, it was so much fun."
Lang, whose 65 matched her best round of the year, said her golf was "pretty flawless."
"Even when I was making pars, I was burning the edge from 10 feet," she said. "Every hole I was right there. The birdies on 16 and 17 were pretty big after the bogeys on 13 and 14... small misses, but I stayed aggressive so I was excited with that."
Lang, seeking a second LPGA title, has held at least a share of the first-round lead six times in her career but has never been able to close it out.
She last held a share of the lead after a 66 at the first round of the 2015 Honda LPGA Thailand but faded to a 73 in the second round and finished in a tie for 13th.
Earlier this season she was within striking distance of a second career title with a final-round 65 at the Manulife Financial Classic, but Suzann Pettersen birdied two of her last three holes to edge Lang by one stroke.
All three of the trio sharing second played without a bogey.
They were one stroke in front of a group of five players on 68: South Korea's Kim Hyo-Joo, Ariya Jutanugarn of Thailand, Denmark's Therese Koelbaek, Paraguay's Julieta Granada and Feng Simin of China.

Mayweather insists Berto his last

Saturday, 29 August 2015 00:00 Published in Sports

LOS ANGELES — Outspoken welterweight king Floyd Mayweather insists his September 12 showdown with Andre Berto will be his last bout.
"Nobody knows what the future holds, but right now, I'm cool and comfortable and having no second thoughts at all about retirement," Mayweather said at an open workout in Las Vegas on Wednesday.
"I had a good career, I won every world title, but boxing is wear and tear on the body.
"It's time to hang 'em up. I'm looking forward to working with some up-and-coming kids, going on walks and taking vacations."
It's a vision of retirement few who have watched his career can really picture for the ultra-competitive American, who will be trying to equal Rocky Marciano's legendary record of 49-0.
A chance to go to 50-0 could prove irresistible, as could the chance to inaugurate the MGM Grand's new 20,000-seat arena in Las Vegas next year.
But for now the 38-year-old Mayweather says he's glad his success gives him the chance to decide when to quit the ring -- a choice many in the sport are denied.
"I've truly been blessed," he said. "I've taken my time, kept my eye on the prize and done what I've had to do," he said. "So I'm able to make a choice when to retire. Most fighters really couldn't.
"Boxing has always been work to me, a job," he said. "If I could say anything to a youngster taking up boxing it would be to be smart and not take a lot of punches.
"It's called the sweet science for a reason. Hit and not be hit, make a lot of money without taking a lot of punishment. That's what it's about."
That slick defensive style has made Mayweather a target for some critics, as his choice of 40-1 underdog Berto for the bout touted as his last.
"Berto can fight," Mayweather said of the former welterweight world champion, who battled a severe shoulder injury two years ago but returned to knock out Josesito Lopez in March.
"He's hungry. He comes to wage a war. There is never a dull moment when he fights, so I expect a hell of a fight out of him," Mayweather said of Berto, who brings a record of 30-3 with 23 knockouts to the fight. "We'll see how it all plays out."
Mayweather said the reaction to his superfight with Manny Pacquiao in May showed he'd be criticized no matter who he fought.
"My last fight, all you guys put Pacquiao on a pedestal and look what happened," he said. "I went in there and did what I needed to do, which is win.
"This fight, no matter who the opponent, somebody would have something critical or negative to say. Some people are never satisfied.
"But I'm satisfied."

Watson steals thunder from Spieth, Day

Saturday, 29 August 2015 00:00 Published in Sports

EDISON — Bubba Watson fired seven birdies in a five-under par 65 on Thursday, outshining playing partners Jordan Spieth and Jason Day to seize a share of the first-round lead at The Barclays.
Two-time Masters champion Watson was atop the leaderboard alongside Colombia's Camilo Villegas and fellow Americans Spencer Levin and Tony Finau in the first of four events in the US PGA Tour's season-ending FedEx Cup playoffs.
On a tightly bunched board, the leaders held a one-stroke lead over New Zealand's Danny Lee, England's Paul Casey, Scotland's Russell Knox and Americans Jason Dufner, Cameron Tringale and Bryce Molder.
Another seven players were tied on 67, with newly crowned PGA Champion Day heading a group on 68 despite battling a bad back.
Spieth, the reigning Masters and US Open champion playing his first tournament since supplanting Rory McIlroy atop the world rankings, endured a tough day in a marquee group with Day and Watson.
The 22-year-old Texan carded a four-over par 74, just the third time in his last 33 rounds that he failed to break par.
After teeing off at 10, Spieth had two birdies to make the turn two-under, but he had five bogeys and a double bogey against one birdie coming in.
"He just looked a little flat," said Australia's Day, who held off Spieth in the final round at Whistling Straits this month to win the PGA Championship, nabbing his first major title and rising to a career-high third in the world. "It's understandable with all the stuff that he's been doing."
Day, who skipped Wednesday's pro-am after aggravating a long-standing back injury on Tuesday, kept himself in the hunt despite some discomfort.
"There were a couple of swings out there that hurt," said Day, who nevertheless had three birdies and one bogey in his two-under effort.
Watson, meanwhile, had no complaints. His seven birdies included five in his first nine holes -- the back nine of Plainfield Country Club.
"All in all it's a good round," said Watson, who regretted his two bogeys -- after a poor shot at the par-three sixth and a three-putt at the ninth.

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