Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Golf Roundup: Ben Martin Leads in Las Vegas

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Golf Roundup: Ben Martin Leads in Las Vegas

Article excerpt

LAS VEGAS * Ben Martin birdied five straight holes on the back nine Saturday and finished with a 9-under 62 to take a two-stroke lead in the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.

Winless in 55 career starts on the PGA Tour, the former Clemson player, 27, matched his best score on the tour set last year in the Zurich Classic to get to 17-under 196 at TPC Summerlin.

He has the 54-hole lead for the first time on the PGA Tour.

"Just go out tomorrow with the same mindset, head down, and try to keep making birdies," Martin said.

Martin had four birdies and a bogey on the front nine, birdied No. 10 and took the lead with his birdie run on Nos. 13-17.

"I felt it from the first hole (when) I made a 20-footer for birdie," Martin said. "So I felt confident with my putter and I was getting a lot of looks. I've played that stretch of holes well all week, 15 and 16, and that's really the part of the course that most guys are making their birdies."

Scotland's Russell Knox, tied for the second-round lead with Andrew Putnam, was second after a 66.

Jimmy Walker also had a 62 to move into a tie for third with Andrew Svoboda (67) at 13 under. Defending champion Webb Simpson had a 67 to join Kevin Streelman (63), Brooks Koepka (64) and Scott Piercy (67) at 12 under.

World Match Play * Dutchman Joost Luiten extended his unbeaten run in the World Match Play Championship, routing Spain's Pablo Larrazabal 6 and 5 in the quarterfinals Saturday in Ash, England.

Luiten had seven birdies in overcast and wet conditions on The London Golf Club to set up a semifinal match Sunday against Finland's Mikko Ilonen, a 2-up winner over France's Victor Dubuisson.

Luiten was 3-0 in round-robin play to reach the quarterfinals.

In the other semifinal, Sweden's Henrik Stenson will face South Africa's George Coetzee.

Stenson beat Swedish compatriot Jonas Blixt 2 up, and Coetzee topped American Patrick Reed 2 and 1.

The final also is Sunday.

LPGA * South Korean' Hee-Kyung Bae and Kyu Jung Baek both shot 4- under 68 to share the third-round lead in the LPGA KEB-HanaBank Championship in Incheon, South Korea.

Bae had five back-nine birdies on Sky72's Ocean Course, and Baek had six birdies and two bogeys. …

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