2015-05-01 / State/National Sports

Golf Roundup

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Rickie Fowler made three big putts in a row and won his second straight match Thursday to secure his spot in the round of 16 on the weekend at the Match Play Championship.

Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth also won two matches and they still could be going home Friday.

Fowler still has one more round-robin match to play Friday, which effectively is a practice round in the middle of a tournament. By outlasting Shane Lowry on the 18th hole, he is 2-0 and already assured of having the best record to advance from his four-man group.

McIlroy went the distance to beat Brandt Snedeker, while Billy Horschel had no trouble dispatching Jason Dufner. McIlroy and Horschel are both 2-0 and play Friday to determine who advances to the weekend.

Spieth is looking as dominant at TPC Harding Park as his week at the Masters. He finished off a 4-and-3 victory over Matt Every with 10 straight one-putt greens that totaled about 120 feet, four of those putts just to halve the hole.

Lee Westwood escaped with a 1-up victory when Mikko Ilonen missed a 4-foot putt. Westwood also is 2-0 and will play Spieth on Friday to determine who advances.

John Senden joined Fowler as the only two players to lock up spots in the round of 16, when the Match Play returns to single elimination. He easily handled Bill Haas, and won his group when Henrik Stenson beat Brendon Todd. Senden already has beaten Stenson and Haas, who each have a 1-1 record.

North Texas Shootout

IRVING, Texas (AP) — Lydia Ko had a triple bogey after losing a ball in a pine tree and dropped three more strokes on the next two holes to put her career-long LPGA Tour cuts streak in jeopardy in the North Texas Shootout.

Ko finished with a 4-over 75 at Las Colinas, leaving the topranked New Zealander nine strokes behind leaders Juli Inkster, Cristie Kerr and Sydnee Michaels.

Coming off a victory Sunday in California, the 18-year-old Ko had the triple bogey on the par-4 14th, followed with a double bogey on the par-4 15th and a bogey on the par-4 16th. She was tied for 117th in the 144- player field that will be cut to the top 70 and ties after the second round and to the top 50 and ties after the third. Ko has made the 36-hole cuts in all 50 of her LPGA Tour starts. Ko said Wednesday that she will donate her earnings this week to the relief effort in Nepal.

The 54-year-old Inkster also shared the first-round lead last week in California and ended up tying for 15th. She won the last of her 31 tour titles in 2006.

Kerr won the Kia Classic in late March for her 17th tour victory.

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