FARMINGDALE, N.Y. – Bethpage Black lived up to its reputation because of the greens, which in some cases looked brown.
Sergio Garcia called them the fastest putting surfaces he could recall. Nick Watney referred to them as extreme. More than one player suggested the course was unplayable Saturday in The Barclays, certainly late in the afternoon as the sun baked out the public course on Long Island. And yes, there were references to Shinnecock Hills, the private club on Long Island where the greens were out of control on the final day of the 2004 U.S. Open.
Garcia managed them just fine. With no bogeys over his final eight holes, he turned a three-shot deficit into a two-shot lead over Nick Watney with a 2-under 69. Such were the conditions that Garcia was the only player among the final 18 to finish who broke 70.
The course is extremely firm, he said. The greens, just probably some of the fastest greens I’ve ever played. Just one of those days where you knew it was going to be tough and you have to hold on very tight, and just kind of hope for the best.
Garcia went four years without winning on the PGA Tour and now has a chance to make it two in a row and return to the top 10 in the world. He was at 10-under 203, and only four players were within four shots of the lead.
LPGA: In Coquitlam, British Columbia, Lydia Ko took a one-stroke lead in the Canadian Women’s Open in her bid to become the youngest winner in LPGA Tour history, shooting an even-par 72.
The 15-year-old South Korean-born New Zealander had an 8-under 208 total at The Vancouver Golf Club.
Lexi Thompson is the youngest LPGA Tour winner, taking the Navistar LPGA Classic in September at 16.
Former Fort Wayne resident Amanda Blumenherst is tied for 61st after her 2-over 74. She is at 5-over 221.
CHAMPIONS: In Snoqualmie, Wash., Tom Jenkins holed out for eagle on the par-4 third hole and finished with a bogey-free 7-under 65 to take a three-shot lead in the Boeing Classic.
The 64-year-old Jenkins is trying to become the oldest winner in Champions Tour history. Mike Fetchick was 63 when he won the 1985 Hilton Head Seniors Invitational.
Jenkins had a 9-under 135 total at TPC Snoqualmie Ridge.
EUROPEAN: In GleneaGles, Scotland, Paul Lawrie of Scotland shot a 5-under 67 in the third round of the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles to take a one-stroke lead.
Lawrie’s 12-under 204 puts him one ahead of Frenchman Romain Wattel, who had 10 birdies for a 63. Stephen Gallacher (65) of Scotland is another two shots back.