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    Golf roundup: Pressel leads at LPGA Championship

    Morgan Pressel slogged through rain and muck to take the lead Saturday after two rounds in the LPGA Championship in Pittsford, N.Y. Next up is a 36-hole marathon Sunday.

    ‘‘I run a lot,’’ Pressel said, laughing. ‘‘I'm in plenty good enough shape to get through 36 holes tomorrow.’’

    She shot a 2-under-par 70 on Saturday at Locust Hill to reach 6-under 138 — two shots ahead of top-ranked Inbee Park and Chella Choi in the second LPGA Tour major of the season.


    Park had a 68 to give herself an opportunity to add to her three wins already this season, including the Kraft Nabisco Championship in April. Choi struggled with a 73 to relinquish her first-round lead.

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    Jiyai Shin, Amy Yang, and Sarah Jane Smith were tied for fourth at 3 under. And there were seven more players at 1 under or better after two rounds, which should make for a long and topsy-turvy final day.

    The change in schedule came after nearly 5 inches of rain fell Thursday, forcing officials to postpone the first round.

    ‘‘It’s going to be very tough physically, I mean, especially walking on these wet fairways,’’ Park said. ‘‘There’s going to be many holes, but yeah, just try not to lose my focus.’’

    A light and intermittent drizzle fell through most of Saturday morning further drenching the 6,500-yard course. Then there were two brief but heavy downpours in the mid-afternoon before the rain finally relented after about 2:30 p.m.


    That led to soppy fairways. It made the slick, overgrown rough even more difficult to hit out of. And even hitting the greens didn’t guarantee relief.

    Starting on No. 9 Saturday, Pressel birdied three of her first six holes to get to 7 under, before faltering. She bogeyed Nos. 16 and 18. Pressel nearly gave up another stroke on the short par-4 second, but saved par by sinking a 10-foot putt.

    Pressel then padded her lead with a 4-foot birdie putt on the par-5 eighth.

    ‘‘The tournament is only halfway finished, but I feel good about my approach to playing,’’ Pressel said. ‘‘It'll be a long day, but I need to stay mentally focused.’’

    Park joined Michelle Wie in shooting the second-round’s lowest score by carding five birdies and a bogey-5 on No. 14. This marks the second of the tour’s past three majors to feature a 36-round final day. The second round of the Women’s British Open was postponed due to rain last September.


    PGA — 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 and shot a 4-under 66 to take the third-round lead in the St. Jude Classic in Memphis, Tenn.

    ‘‘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, it was the wrong club at the wrong time.’’

    The 31-year-old Texan rebounded with four birdies over his final five holes to move back atop the leaderboard. He finished with eight birdies to go with that quadruple bogey to reach 12-under 198 at TPC Southwind.

    Harris English was a stroke back after a 69, finishing out of the lead for the first time this week.

    This is just the 17th career PGA event for Stefani, who earned his way onto the tour by finishing sixth on the Tour money list in 2012 in a two-win season. The rookie ran into trouble 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 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.

    Champions — David Frost birdied the 16th and 17th holes en route to a 6-under 66 and a one-stroke lead over Fred Couples after the third round of the Regions Tradition in Birmingham, Ala.

    Frost, who won the Toshiba Classic in March for his fourth 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.

    European — Joost Luiten of the Netherlands shot a 5-under 67, extending his lead to three strokes heading into the final round of the Lyoness Open in Atzenbrugg, Austria.

    Holding a one-shot overnight lead, Luiten bogeyed two of his first five holes. He recovered with seven birdies to finish at 16-under 200, three strokes ahead of Jorge Campillo (66) and Eduardo de la Riva (69).