Win tickets to see the smash hit musical Mamma Mia at the Roanoke Civic Center. Two winners will each receive four tickets!
Tiger Woods putts on the 11th green during the pro-am round of the Deutsche Bank Championships in Norton, Mass., Thursday.
Thursday, August 29, 2013
CHARLOTTESVILLE - Martinsville's Keith Decker beat his "hero" Thursday. Today at Farmington Country Club, he will attempt to win another VSGA title.
In his first match-play meeting with the man he has idolized for years, Decker beat Richmond's Vinny Giles in 19 holes to win a classic quarterfinal match between the two most accomplished amateurs in Virginia golf history.
After dispatching Giles, Decker beat Centreville's John Long 4 and 2 in the afternoon semifinals to advance to today's final against retired Col. James Gallagher of Yorktown.
This day, however, was all about the epic Decker-Giles match. Giles, 70, jumped to a 2-up lead through seven holes.
"I haven't been as nervous on a golf course in a long time, and I was a little nervous teeing off this morning. I don't know why,'' said Decker, 53. "Maybe it was because I hadn't played Vinny before, and we both wanted to win this match."
Decker drove the 288-yard par-4 13th and two-putted for birdie to square the match. After the two players swapped hole wins at Nos. 14 and 15, Giles drained a 5-foot birdie putt to regain the lead at 16.
After the two players halved No. 17, Giles chunked his third shot - a pitch - and eventually conceded the hole to send the match into extra holes.
On the first playoff hole, Giles hit his drive into a fairway bunker and then missed his second shot. Meanwhile, Decker hit his approach to 25 feet. He rolled the birdie putt to a foot for a conceded par. Then Giles missed an 8-footer for his par.
"I hate it finished that way for [Giles], but I got over it real fast,'' Decker said.
Decker will be the prohibitive favorite today when goes for his 21st VSGA title against upstart Gallagher.
Gallagher, 54, stunned qualifying medalist David Partridge (Manakin) 4 and 3 in the quarterfinals, then dismissed Alexandria's Bill Engel 7 and 6 in the semifinals.
Roanoke's Swanson on cusp of advancing
RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. -Roanoke's Meredith Swanson shot a 2-over-par 74 in Thursday's third round of Stage 1 LPGA Qualifying School at Mission Hills Country Club.
Swanson's three-round total of 16-over 232 left her tied for 197th in the 242-player field heading into today's final round. The top 100 players and ties advance to the tour's Stage 2 qualifier in October in Venice, Fla.
Pornanong Phatlum leads Safeway Classic
PORTLAND, Ore. - Thailand's Pornanong Phatlum shot an 8-under 64 on Thursday to take a one-stroke lead over Lexi Thompson after the first round of the Safeway Classic.
The 23-year-old Phatlum had 10 birdies and two bogeys in her afternoon round at Columbia Edgewater.
The 18-year-old Thompson eagled the par-5 seventh hole and had five birdies in her bogey-free morning round.
Woods says back is fine and he's ready to go
NORTON, Mass. - Tiger Woods planned to take it easy during the pro-am at the Deutsche Bank Championship. His back felt so good he decided to play all 18 holes.
Woods hit a variety of full shots with no indication of any pain. It was far different from four days ago, when he dropped to his knees after a back spasm when he hit one errant shot in The Barclays.
The Deutsche Bank Championship starts today, and Woods say the extra day off for treatment and rest has helped.
It's the third time this year Woods has dealt with pain - an elbow injury in the spring, and back pain at the PGA Championship and The Barclays. Woods says that's just the nature of sport and he's not concerned.
Norway's Espen Kofstad leads Wales Open
NEWPORT, Wales - Espen Kofstad of Norway closed his round with three straight birdies and an eagle, shooting a 7-under 64 Thursday that gave him a two-stroke lead after the first day of the Wales Open.
Kofstad, ranked No. 305, went out in the first group of the day concluded his round at Celtic Manor by making a bunker shot.
England's Chris Wood and Australia's Richard Green shot 66s on the Twenty Ten course that hosted the 2010 Ryder Cup.
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