Tour rookie Bettencourt tied for lead

Golf: For most of a warm and wacky Saturday afternoon at the Memorial, the leaderboard was filled with a “Who’s Who” of this golfing generation, five players with a combined 20 majors, 121 PGA Tour victories and 19 World Golf Championships.

Tiger Woods and Ernie Els. Davis Love III, Geoff Ogilvy and Jim Furyk.

It ended with a “Who’s That?”

Matt Bettencourt, a 34-year-old rookie who had never played a PGA Tour event until this year, steadied himself during some nervous moments on the super slick greens of Muirfield Village for a 4-under-par 68 to share the lead with two-time tour winner Mark Wilson (69) in Dublin, Ohio.

Bettencourt, who hasn’t finished in the top 20 and has missed more cuts than he has made, wasn’t expecting to be atop the leaderboard at the tournament Jack Nicklaus created. The guys chasing him? That was no surprise at all.

“The field is so strong here,” Bettencourt said. “Mr. Nicklaus asks you to play, you’re going to play. If you expect to win, you’re going to have to beat the best. And the best are up there.”

No one played better than Ogilvy, who was in a tie for 57th and nine shots behind until he turned in a tournament-best 63 as the leaders were finishing up their lunch. He was atop the leaderboard for much of the day until finishing two shots behind.

Woods, a three-time winner of the Memorial, made his move on the back nine with a 5-wood into 6 feet for an eagle. Slowed by a careless three-putt bogey on the 17th, he had to settle for a 68 and was four shots behind.

Furyk was up and down, as were most players, until he steadied himself down the stretch and scratched out a 71, putting him one shot behind with Jonathan Byrd, who also had a 71.

Love chipped in for birdie on the 18th for a 69 and was tied for fifth with Ogilvy. Els was poised to make a move until he chopped up the par-5 15th and took double bogey, putting him in the group at 207 with Woods.

Kerr, McPherson tied for lead: Cristie Kerr made a big jump into a tie for the lead with Kristy McPherson at the State Farm Classic, delivering a dominant showing before a late fade in the third round on a windy day in Springfield, Ill.

Four strokes back after the second round, Kerr settled for a 6-under 66 after bogeying two of the final three holes. Then, McPherson (69) stumbled at the end, bogeying her final two holes, and that left them tied at 12-under 204.

Jiyai Shin (69) was a shot behind. Second-round co-leaders Se Ri Pak (72) and Suzann Pettersen (72) were part of a crowd at 10 under.

Langer maintains lead: Bernhard Langer shot a 3-under 69 to maintain a one-stroke lead after the second round of the Triton Financial Classic in Lakeway, Texas.

Stewart wrecks, loses pole position

Auto racing: Tony Stewart lost his pole position and will start from the back of the pack for the Pocono 500 today after wrecking his car during practice at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pa.

NASCAR’s Sprint Cup points leader lost control of his No. 14 Chevrolet and spun off the tunnel turn at the end of the first practice. The car spun into the grass and ripped off the nose of his car.

His Stewart-Haas Racing crew quickly got to work on the backup car. Stewart was confident he could still make a strong run in the backup.

Busch wins Nationwide race: Kyle Busch raced to his fourth Nationwide Series victory of the year, easily holding off Brad Keselowski and Carl Edwards in the Federated Auto Parts 300 at Gladeville, Tenn.

Castroneves wins again: Helio Castroneves, who last month won his third Indianapolis 500, beat Penske teammate Ryan Briscoe off pit row on the final stop and held on for the final 46 laps to win at Texas Motor Speedway.

Vettel takes pole for Turkish Grand Prix: Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel edged Formula One championship leader Jenson Button to take the pole position for today’s Turkish Grand Prix in Istanbul.

NCAA, Memphis meet regarding infractions

Miscellany: The NCAA met with Memphis officials in Indianapolis to discuss major violations and the school must now wait at least six weeks for a ruling on whether its 38 wins from the 2007-08 season will count.

The most serious allegation at the meeting was whether an unknown person took the SAT for a player. The NCAA has said the athlete in question played for the Tigers for only the 2007-08 season and the 2008 NCAA tournament. The only person who fits the description in documents obtained by the Associated Press is Derrick Rose, the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft after that season.

Foreman III wins boxing debut: George Foreman III won in his professional debut, stopping Clyde Weaver at 1:16 of the first round in Kinder, La. Foreman is the 26-year-old son of two-time world heavyweight champion George Foreman.

Sea The Stars wins English Derby: Sea The Stars won the English Derby at Epsom, England, becoming the first horse in 20 years to win the Epsom classic after capturing the 2,000 Guineas.


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