Quadruple bogey doesn't deter PGA rookie Stefani at St. Jude
Rookie Shawn Stefani has been through enough scrambling around the mini-tours trying to make it to the PGA Tour that a quadruple bogey wasn't going to shake his confidence or his concentration. Even if it cost him the lead. Stefani overcame the bad hole that dropped him down Saturday and shot a 4-under 66 to take the third-round lead in the St. Jude Classic in Memphis.
"I feel like I hit one bad shot on 11, and that was the putt that I missed for a triple," Stefani said showing off his sense of humor. "I know that sounds crazy, but you know I hit the club that I wanted to hit. Unfortunately, was the wrong club at the wrong time."
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The 31-year-old Texan rebounded with four birdies over his final five holes to move back atop the leader board. He finished with eight birdies to go with that quadruple bogey.
"It's who gets over it fastest and who moves on the fastest," Stefani said. "And to finish the way I did with three birdies on the last three was great. But I was just out there just playing the game and having fun. That's what I'm here for is to play the best I can and have fun with it, and I did that today."
Harris English was a stroke back after a 69, finishing out of the lead for the first time this week. He sounded happy it wasn't worse after playing with Stefani.
"Shawn played so good on the front side, when he birdied 10 I thought this guy's going to shoot 60," English said.
This is just the 17th career tour event for Stefani, who earned his way onto the PGA Tour by finishing sixth on the Web.com Tour money list in 2012. His trouble came on the island green of the par-3 No. 11.
Stefani went with a wedge and said a gust of wind caught it in the air, sending it into the water short of the island green. He took his drop and then hit into the back bunker where he had a buried lie. He got the ball out but didn't clear the slope, so the ball rolled back into the bunker. He pushed an 8-footer past the hole 4 feet before finally salvaging a quadruple bogey.
■ David Frost birdied the 16th and 17th holes Saturday en route to a 6-under 66 and a one-stroke lead over Fred Couples after the third round of the Regions Tradition at Birmingham, Ala.
Frost, the South African who won the Toshiba Classic in March for his fourth Champions Tour title, had four birdies on the final eight holes to move to 12-under 205 in the major championship.
Couples, the Presidents Cup captain and World Golf Hall of Famer, shot a bogey-free 68.
The final round will have a two-tee morning start because of expected rain. Kentuckians Kenny Perry (67) and Russ Cochran (70) are tied for 11th and five shots back at 7-under par.
■ Overcoming rain and a muddy course, Morgan Pressel shot a 2-under 70 to take the lead after two rounds of the LPGA Championship at Pittsford, N.Y. At 6-under 138, Pressel had a two-shot lead over top-ranked Inbee Park and Chella Choi. Park shot 68, while Choi, the first-round leader, struggled with a 73.
The final two rounds will be squeezed into a 36-hole marathon Sunday at Locust Hill Country Club to determine the winner of the tour's second major. The change in schedule came after nearly five inches of rain fell Thursday, forcing the first round to be postponed.
Pressel hasn't won since claiming the Kapalua LPGA Classic in 2008. The American is attempting to end a string of eight straight majors won by Asian-born players.
Allmendinger to step in for Labonte
AJ Allmendinger will replace Bobby Labonte next week at Michigan International Speedway for JTG Daugherty Racing.
Allmendinger could drive even more Cup races for the struggling race team. Labonte, the 2000 Cup champion, is 28th in the Sprint Cup points standings and hasn't finished better than 15th in a race.
With the team scuffling along, JTG Daugherty Racing decided it was time for a change in the No. 47 Toyota.
"We've kind of gone backward the last three years," co-owner Brad Daugherty said. "We can't exactly put a finger on it without being able to benchmark it against a second team. It's really hard. He's available, so we thought we'd stick him in there to see if he has a different perspective on what we're doing and what we're not doing."
Allmendinger will likely also race for JTG-Daugherty at Watkins Glen and at three other tracks where the team was currently lacking major sponsorship. Allmendinger has driven a limited NASCAR schedule since being suspended for a failed drug test last year. Roger Penske fired him but gave him another chance in IndyCar.
■ The Nationwide Series race at Iowa Speedway was postponed until 11 a.m. Sunday because of rain. Austin Dillon will start first after winning the pole for the third week in a row.
'10 Mr. Baseball Riddle picked by Marlins
The Miami Marlins chose Kentucky junior infielder J.T. Riddle in the 13th round of the MLB Draft. Riddle, a three-year starter for the Cats after earning Kentucky's Mr. Baseball honors out of Western Hills in 2010, batted .283 with seven doubles, two triples, one home run and 20 RBI this past season. Spanning his 2012 and 2013 seasons with the Cats, Riddle ran up a stretch of 3581⁄3 consecutive innings without making an error.
■ A pair of Lexington high school standouts were among several other players with Kentucky ties chosen Saturday. Both are sons of former major-leaguers. The San Diego Padres selected Lexington Christian's Taylor Blair in the 35th round. Blair, a 6-foot-3 right-handed pitcher and Eastern Kentucky University signee, is the son of Willie Blair, who pitched in the majors from 1990 to 2001. Tates Creek's JaVon Shelby, a University of Kentucky signee projected as a shortstop, was chosen in the 37th round by the Milwaukee Brewers. Shelby's father, John, starred at Henry Clay and Kentucky before playing in the majors from 1981 to 1991. He's now on the Brewers' coaching staff. A list of Kentuckians drafted, plus the Reds' picks, is on Page B4.
Men finish 18th at NCAA Outdoors
A pair of top-five finishes helped Kentucky's men's track and field team to an 18th-place finish at the NCAA Outdoor Championships at Eugene, Ore. Keith Hayes was fourth in the 110-meter hurdles, crossing the finish line in 13.40 seconds. Raymond Dykstra's season-best javelin throw, which went 237 feet, 10 inches, gave him fifth place. He was sixth nationally as a freshman last season. Florida and Texas A&M tied for the men's team title and Kansas won the women's championship.
Legends cruise to 8-2 win at Augusta
The Lexington Legends scored five runs in the fifth inning and built an 8-0 lead by the sixth en route to an 8-2 victory against the host Augusta GreenJackets. Ethan Chapman and Humberto Arteaga had three hits apiece for the Legends. Lexington starter Miguel Almonte pitched six innings and gave up two runs on six hits. Daniel Hernandez finished the game, pitching three scoreless innings to earn his sixth save.
The last word
Ten years ago, Bob and Mike Bryan were still desperate to win a Grand Slam title and were sleeping on the floor of their bargain hotel room. Their lives changed for good when they won their first major championship in 2003 at the French Open. On Saturday, the top-ranked American twins extended their record by clinching their 14th Grand Slam trophy. The Bryans still remember the time when they were living on the cheap in Paris, trying to save money.
Bob said: "It was just kind of a creepy roach motel."
Added Mike: "The beds were horrendous. We put everything on the floor."
They didn't have much luck either when they went to a nearby restaurant for a meal.
Bob said: "I think we lost like 10 pounds each because the food was so bad. We were getting so skinny and losing power on our shots. We had nothing left."