Zach Johnson used a run of four birdies in his final six holes for a 6-under 66 to take the second-round lead after another windy day in the BellSouth Classic on Friday. \nHe had a 9-under 135 total for a two-stroke lead over 2003 winner Ben Crane, Craig Bowden and Tim Petrovic. \nThen Johnson strolled into the interview room, accompanied by his father and a group of about 10 people, financial backers from early in the PGA Tour rookie's professional career. Some came for the entire week, others arrived late Thursday night, and everybody got quite a show from their player. \n"These are the guys that when others didn't see the potential in me, these guys did," Johnson said. "This business is hard financially to get started, and quite frankly, I didn't really have to worry about it too much. \n"Fortunately, I'm able to go on by myself. At the same time, their support is still there and I can still feel it." \nBrian Gay and Scott Hend were three strokes back, and PGA champion Shaun Micheel and Padraig Harrington were another shot behind. \nJohnson started his round on No. 10, and an eagle on the par-5 18th helped him get going. After three pars, he birdied the next three holes, then capped his day with a 21-footer for another birdie on the last hole. \n"My putter has been pretty good the past two days," he said. \nA strong, swirling wind made conditions tough again, with only 16 scores in the 60s. Hend tied Johnson for low round of the day, and Peter Lonard had a 67. \n"Sometimes it feels like it's at your back, sometimes it feels like it's in your face," Bowden said of the wind. "It's tough to pick a club and then commit to it, because there's a few holes out there that you can have a train wreck on." \nPetrovic had that problem. After starting on the back nine, he three-putted the par-5 18th for a bogey, and followed that with another at No. 1. He took the lead with birdies on the fifth and sixth, then gave it back with two bogeys in a row. \nFinally, Petrovic completed the up-and-down round with a birdie on No. 9, rolling in a 12-footer for a 70. \nJose Maria Olazabal, who shared the first-round lead with rookie Roger Tambellini, had a rough day. Admittedly mired in a long slump, the two-time Masters champ missed seven of his last nine greens after starting his day on No. 10.
Two women yesterday morning attempted to hang a banner from the Acropolis in Athens in protest at the upcoming Beijing Winter Olympics, but were detained by Greek police. The women, 18-year-old Tibetan student Tsela Zoksang and 22-year-old exiled Hong Konger Joey Siu (邵嵐), both US citizens, are members of the “No Beijing 2022” campaign, a statement from the New York-based organization Students for a Free Tibet said. They, and a third person, entered the archeological site as paying customers, and then Zoksang and Siu climbed some scaffolding, from which they attempted to unfurl the banner. A security officer rushed to them and took
TREBLE CHANCE: Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei is eyeing a third title in the California desert after winning in 2014 with Peng Shuai and in 2018 with Barbora Strycova Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Belgian partner Elise Mertens on Thursday cruised into the women’s doubles final at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California. It took second seeds Hsieh and Mertens just 54 minutes to defeat Japanese third seeds Shuko Aoyama and Ena Shibahara 6-2, 6-0 in the semi-finals to advance to their second final as a duo. Hsieh and Mertens denied the Japanese duo, winners of a WTA Tour-best five titles this year, a spot in their sixth final of the season as they broke serve five times and won the final nine games. “We’re very happy about the performance. Just
It is the world’s longest certified foot race: a 4,989km run that takes participants around the same New York block 5,649 times. Thousands of people have climbed Everest — but just 49 have completed the Sri Chinmoy Self-Transcendence 3,100 Mile Race, organizers say. Runners finish more than two marathons a day for almost two months, on less than five hours of sleep a night. They cannot rely on changing scenery to keep them motivated as the route is a 883m loop on a concrete sidewalk around a high school in Jamaica, Queens. To mix things up a bit, they alternate between running clockwise
Sean Wainui, a rising star of Super Rugby with the Hamilton, New Zealand-based Chiefs, died yesterday in an automobile accident. He was 25 and the father of two children. His death was confirmed by family members and by New Zealand Rugby, which said “one of New Zealand Rugby’s tallest Totara trees has fallen.” Wainui played 44 matches for the Chiefs from 2018. He also played nine times for the Christchurch-based Crusaders and was a New Zealand Maori representative from 2015. Wainui scored five tries for the Chiefs against the New South Wales Waratahs in June, a Super Rugby record. Police said they were notified