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Golf

  • Europe retains the Ryder Cup
    The Ryder Cup is staying in Europe. Jamie Donaldson assured Europe the 14 points it needed to keep the precious gold trophy on Sunday when he went 4 up with four holes to play against Keegan
  • Europe facing US challenge in Ryder Cup singles
    With Rory McIlroy leading the way, the Europeans are trying to withstand a U.S. challenge in Sunday's singles matches as they seek to maintain their grip on the Ryder Cup.
  • Leading 10-6, Europe closing in on Cup
    Justin Rose swept that magical putter into the air before his ball even reached the hole, and he punched his right fist when it dropped for a birdie.
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Associated Press
J.B. Holmes shot a 6-under 66 to take a 1-shot lead going into today’s final round of the the Wells Fargo Championship in Charlotte, N.C.
GOLF

Holmes shoots 66, leads Wells Fargo by 1

– Phil Mickelson’s best round of the year wasn’t enough for him to stay in the lead Saturday in the Wells Fargo Championship, just enough to give him a chance to end his slowest start to a season in 11 years.

J.B. Holmes overpowered Quail Hollow on a good day for scoring, and he made a 20-foot birdie putt from the fringe on the final hole for a 6-under 66. That wound up giving him a one-shot lead when Martin Flores made his only bogey on the final hole. Mickelson had a 63 and was two shots behind.

Flores hit his tee shot into the creek left of the 18th fairway and missed a 20-foot par putt, settling for a 69 that at least put him in the final pairing with Holmes.

They’ll be looking at Mickelson, who filled the course with one big cheer after another. Mickelson rolled in birdie putts of 30 feet on No. 4 and 40 feet on the par-3 sixth hole and went out in 29. He took the outright lead with a 7-iron from 216 yards into 10 feet on the 13th hole and closed with a par as exciting as some of his birdies. After having to lay up out of a fairway bunker, his wedge spun by the hole and left him a tap-in for par.

“I don’t think I’ll be leading at the end of the day because I think there are some birdies out there,” Mickelson said. “But just to be in contention, and to have a chance at a golf course that I’ve become so close to over the years, I’m excited about tomorrow’s round.”

Not since 2003 – his last winless year on the PGA Tour – has Mickelson gone this deep into the season without a victory. This year has been so difficult, mainly through injuries, that he doesn’t even have a top 10.

Holmes only last week secured his card for the rest of the year through a medical extension from ankle surgery last year. He hasn’t won since the Phoenix Open in 2008, though he can be scary when he’s finding fairways with his enormous length.

He birdied all the par 5s and only dropped one shot.

“A good week so far,” he said.

Holmes was at 13-under 203, and he’ll have inexperience at his side. Flores is in his fourth full year on the PGA Tour, and he has never finished in the top three. That would have been hard to guess by the way he played. Flores blew past Mickelson and built a two-shot lead after the turn when he made three straight birdies, the last one from 40 feet just off the 12th green.

LPGA: In Irving, Texas, Stacy Lewis shot a 2-under 69 even while missing several makable putts to grab a share of the lead with Meena Lee after three rounds at the North Texas LPGA Shootout.

Lewis, the third-ranked player in the world, looked down in frustration after missing a birdie chance at the 18th hole. The Texan matched Lee at 9-under 204.

CHAMPIONS: In The Woodlands, Texas, Bernhard Langer shot a 4-under 68 to open a three-stroke lead in the Champions Tour’s Insperity Invitational.

Langer had a 10-under 134 total at The Woodlands Country Club.

Colin Montgomerie was second after a 66, the best round of the day.

EUROPEAN: In Singapore, Denmark’s Anders Hansen shot a 5-under 67 for a share of the lead with Thailand’s Panuphol Pittayarat in The Championship at Laguna National.

Hansen matched Pittayarat (69) at 16-under 200. American David Lipsky (70) and Dutchman Robert-Jan Derksen (67) were two strokes back.

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