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Haas beats weather, leads at Memorial

Bill Haas battled the course and bettered the elements, shooting 67. (Associated Press)
Bill Haas battled the course and bettered the elements, shooting 67. (Associated Press)

Golf: Bill Haas played the best golf in the toughest conditions Friday in the rain-delayed Memorial in Dublin, Ohio.

When the second round was suspended as dark clouds rolled in and forced the third stoppage in play, Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy were close to each other on the leaderboard, even if they were miles away from Haas, who had a 5-under 67.

That didn’t bode well for Woods, the five-time Memorial winner who had a most peculiar round in wind and on fast greens at Muirfield Village. He three-putted from 5 feet for double bogey on the par-5 15th, chopped up the final hole for a bogey and wound up with a 74 and his worst 36-hole total (145) at the Memorial since he first played it in 1997.

McIlroy was in danger of missing the cut until he fired off five birdies, looking more comfortable with his putts and attacking with his driver. He was 4 under for his round and one shot inside the cut line – and one shot behind Woods. McIlroy was in a greenside bunker in two shots at the par-5 15th when play was stopped.

The second round was to resume early this morning.

• Youth prevails at ShopRite LPGA Classic: Three-time NCAA player of the year Amanda Blumenherst and LPGA rookie leader Moriya Jutanugarn shot 5-under 66s to top the leaderboard in the ShopRite LPGA Classic, a stroke ahead of defending champion Stacy Lewis.

Michelle Wie, who a decade ago made one of her first appearances on the women’s tour as a 13-year-old in the event, was two shots behind after tying her lowest numerical score of what has been a disappointing season.

Former Washington State golfer Kim Welch was lowest among local players, shooting 3-over 74. Edwall, Wash., resident Wendy Ward shot a 77 and former Idaho Vandal Kayla Mortellaro shot a 79.

• Four shoot 69 for Champions lead: Tom Lehman, Duffy Waldorf, Dan Forsman and Scott Hoch shot 3-under 69s to share the first-round lead in the Champions Tour’s Principal Charity Classic at Des Moines, Iowa.

Hale Irwin, who turns 68 on Monday, topped a group of eight at 70. Defending champion Jay Haas opened with a 71, and tour points leader Bernhard Langer had a 72.

Kirk Triplett (Moses Lake, Pullman High) shot a 72.

• California survives ASU’s upset bid: Top-seeded California survived a quarterfinal scare from Pac-12 rival Arizona State to advance to the semifinals of the NCAA championship in Milton, Ga.

Brandon Hagy birdied No. 18 after a nearly perfect approach to give the Bears a 3-2 victory and a spot in the semifinals against Illinois. The fifth-seeded Illini beat defending champion Texas 3-2.

Host Georgia Tech will face Alabama, the 2012 runner-up, in the other semifinal at the Capital City Club’s Crabapple Course north of Atlanta.

Nadal wins, earns quick turnaround

Tennis: Rafael Nadal defeated Martin Klizan of Slovakia 4-6, 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 at the French Open in Paris. For his efforts, he gets to turn around and play this morning.

Because the Nadal-Klizan match was moved to Friday after rain interrupted Thursday’s play, the seven-time champion is scheduled to play Italy’s Fabio Fognini, whose last match ended before the rain on Thursday.

Roger Federer, whose record 17 Grand Slam titles include the 2009 French Open, lost serve in the very first game but not again, getting to the fourth round by eliminating No. 30 Julien Benneteau of France 6-3, 6-4, 7-5.

He now faces No. 15 Gilles Simon of France, who came back to beat No. 18 Sam Querrey of the United States 2-6, 6-3, 2-6, 7-6 (2), 6-2. That left No. 19 John Isner as the last U.S. man in the tournament after his 5-7, 6-7 (7), 6-3, 6-1, 8-6 win against Ryan Harrison.

Dream spoil Fever’s home opener

Miscellany: Angel McCoughtry had 29 points and nine rebounds to lead Atlanta Dream to an 86-77 victory over the Indiana Fever in Indianapolis.

Indiana, playing its home opener, received its WNBA championship rings and raised a banner commemorating last season’s title before the game.

Softball World Series postponed by weather: The NCAA postponed the two games scheduled at the Women’s College World Series because of severe weather.

The new schedule calls for Tennessee to play Washington today, followed by the second winners’ bracket game between Oklahoma and Texas.

Tonight, there will be two elimination games: Florida against Nebraska and Michigan against Arizona State, with two elimination games Sunday.

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