Oosthuizen birdies 7 straight, leads McIlroy by three shots
Louis Oosthuizen knows what it's like to hit every shot right where he's aiming and to stand over every putt believing it will go in. He once shot a 57 on his home course at Mossel Bay in South Africa, a number he wears on the left sleeve of his shirt. For about two hours Sunday in the Deutsche Bank Championship in Norton, Mass., that's how it felt.
Oosthuizen ran off seven straight birdies, a streak that began after he nearly three-putted from 5 feet. He shot 29 on the front nine of the TPC Boston. He didn't miss a green until the 17th hole. That's all it took to race by PGA champion Rory McIlroy, leave Tiger Woods behind and seize control going into the Labor Day finish.
Oosthuizen had an 8-under 63, establishing tournament records for consecutive birdies, low front nine and a 54-hole score of 19-under 194.
"Probably the start anyone would dream of on that front nine," Oosthuizen said. "I made everything, so you get those days where you just look at a putt and you hole it. That was my first nine holes."
The back nine wasn't bad, and it included one brief scare when he felt a twinge in his back when he went after a 9-iron on the 16th. The ache was gone on the 18th, and he rolled in one last birdie to keep McIlroy from getting even closer.
McIlroy, trying to match Woods with his third PGA Tour win this year, did well just to stay in range.
"You think going out with a one-shot lead and shooting 67 that you ... might still be in the lead going into the last day," McIlroy said. "But Louis put on a display out there for a few holes. ... It was great to watch. Louis is the sort of player that can do that. He's very explosive and he didn't really put a foot wrong today. Very happy that I'm still in touching distance going into tomorrow."
Woods again didn't make as many putts as he thought he could, and even a short birdie on the 16th left him nervous until it curled in. He still managed a 68 and was six shots behind, along with Dustin Johnson, who kept alive his hopes of being picked for the Ryder Cup with a 65.
"I'm going to have to put together one of those rounds (Monday)," Woods said. "It won't surprise me if somebody shoots 8- or 9-under par tomorrow because of where the pin locations are. Somebody is going to go out there and do it. It may be early, it may be late, who knows? But hopefully, I'm one of those guys."
So Many Ways wins Spinaway Stakes
So Many Ways beat Sweet Shirley Mae by 21/2 lengths Sunday in the $300,000 Spinaway Stakes for 2-year-old fillies at Saratoga Race Course. So Many Ways, ridden by Javier Castellano and trained by Tony Dutrow, ran 7 furlongs in 1:23.74. She is undefeated in three starts, including the Schuylerville Stakes on July 20 at Saratoga. The winner earned $180,000 for owner Maggie Moss.
Earlier, Unbridled Command, ridden by Ramon Dominguez, won the $150,000 Saranac Stakes for 3-year-olds by a half-length, running 11⁄8 miles on the inner turf course in 1:46.54. Unbridled Command was the sixth winner of the day from seven mounts for Dominguez. He has 66 winners in the meet to break the record of 65 set by John Velazquez.
The meeting concludes Monday with an 11-race program, with Dominguez scheduled to ride in each race.
Hamlin wins second straight race
Denny Hamlin took advantage of a late caution, dominating the restart for his second win in two weeks and holding off a strong run by Jeff Gordon, for the win at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Brad Keselowski was third, followed by Martin Truex Jr., Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch and Dale Earnhardt Jr.
■ Tony Stewart will be looking for another co-primary sponsor after it was announced Office Depot won't be returning in 2013. The news came from team spokesman Mike Arning on Sunday, shortly before Sunday's race.
Mobil 1 is set to return as a primary backer for about half the races next year, but Stewart will have to find someone to pick up the rest of the tab for his No. 14 car. The three-time Cup champion also is searching for sponsorship on Stewart-Haas Racing's second car, the No. 39 machine driven by Ryan Newman. The U.S. Army is dropping out.
Office Depot praised Stewart but said it's leaving NASCAR because of "the changing business landscape."
UK women remain undefeated
Senior Natalie Horner scored the lone goal of the match to help the Kentucky women's soccer team (4-0-0) defeat visiting Southeast Missouri State 1-0 and stay undefeated. Horner's goal came in the 54th minute off a corner kick. The Cats' next match will be at Louisville at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
■ Junior forward Tyler Riggs scored his second goal of the season to tie the Kentucky men's soccer team's match against No. 15 St. John's 1-1, but the Red Storm's Jack Bennett scored on a penalty kick in the 20th minute and held on for the victory in Columbia, S.C. Kentucky (0-3) will seek its first win of the season when it plays St. Joseph's at 7:30 p.m. Friday in the UK Invitational Tournament at the UK Soccer Complex.
Jaguars' Jones-Drew ends his holdout
Jacksonville Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew ended his 38-day holdout — without a new contract. The NFL's leading rusher in 2011, Jones-Drew skipped the team's entire off-season in a nasty contract dispute. He wanted to renegotiate the final two years of a five-year, $31 million deal that paid him nearly $22 million the last three seasons. "I can tell he's ready to go, so we'll be working with him to get him up to speed as quickly as possible," Coach Mike Mularkey said.
■ South Carolina Coach Steve Spurrier said starting quarterback Connor Shaw can barely lift his right arm and will miss the next few days of practice. "It's wait and see right now," Spurrier said. Shaw was injured when he took a helmet to his right shoulder in the ninth-ranked Gamecocks' season-opening, 17-13 victory at Vanderbilt last Thursday. Shaw was diagnosed with a deep bone bruise.
■ Georgia's Todd Gurley played like a starter when he ran for three touchdowns in his debut. The freshman tailback could make his first start in the No. 6 Bulldogs' Southeastern Conference opener at Missouri on Saturday. Gurley ran for 100 yards on only eight carries in Georgia's 45-23 opening win over Buffalo. He ran through arm tackles for a 10-yard touchdown run, showed his speed while scoring on a 100-yard kickoff return, and then threw a stiff-arm to clear a path for a 55-yard touchdown run. Starter Ken Malcome left the game with a left hand injury, possibly clearing the way for Gurley to move up. "He'll definitely get the ball, that's for sure," Coach Mark Richt said.
■ Blake Naylor ran 10 yards for a touchdown on Georgetown's opening drive Saturday against host Bluefield College and the Tigers (1-0) extended their regular-season winning streak to 18 games with a 77-9 victory. Melvin Posey led Georgetown with 121 rushing yards and scored two TDs. Naylor had 40 rushing yards and three scores.
The last word
Eighteen-year-old British tennis player Laura Robson ran into a camera crew when she stepped outside her hotel before heading to the U.S. Open on Sunday. Robson didn't realize they were waiting for her:
"I got really excited because I thought they were waiting for someone who was actually famous."