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    Golf roundup: Brooks Koepka owns two-shot lead at PGA open

    On a day of low scoring, Brooks Koepka kept up his end of the bargain and stayed in the lead at the Open in San Martin, Calif.

    In his first regular PGA Tour event, Koepka rolled in two birdies putts to start his round Saturday and drove the par-4 17th green for another birdie. It added to a 4-under-par 67 and a two-shot lead over George McNeill and Jason Kokrak going into the final round at CordeValle. A win would mean more than just a trip to the Masters for Koepka. The 23-year-old Floridian started the year with no status on any tour, and since then has earned membership on the Challenge Tour and European Tour. A victory would give him a two-year exemption on the PGA Tour, and keep him from having to reload the pages in his passport. He already has played in 15 countries this year, with three victories on the Challenge Tour.

    ‘‘The Challenge Tour prepared me pretty well,’’ Koepka said. ‘‘Learning how to win is a big deal.’’


    CordeValle was set up for low scoring on a Saturday of ample sunshine and very little wind. McNeill made 10 birdies in his round of 62 that put him in the last group with Koepka. McNeill is a two-time winner on the PGA Tour. He has never played in the Masters because both wins were opposite-field events that didn’t award full FedEx Cup points.

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    Koepka was at 15-under 198. He has played every major once except the Masters, though this is his first regular PGA Tour start. He was between stops in Scotland (Dunhill Links) and Shanghai (BMW Masters) when he received a sponsor exemption to the Open.

    Jimmy Walker also had a 62 and was three shots behind with Robert Garrigus (68) and Vijay Singh, the 50-year-old Fijian making his first PGA Tour start in nearly two months. Singh hit driver on the par-4 17th hole up the back of the green, back down the slope to about 2 feet for an eagle. That carried him to a 65.

    LPGA — Lexi Thompson moved into position for her second tour title, shooting a 5-under 66 to take a three-stroke lead in the LPGA Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur. The 18-year-old American, the 2011 Navistar LPGA Classic winner, had five birdies in her bogey-free round to reach 17-under 196.

    She opened with rounds of 67 and 63. South Korea’s Ilhee Lee was second after a 70. Norway’s Suzann Pettersen and China’s Shanshan Feng were third at 11 under.


    Champions — Russ Cochran shot his second straight 6-under 66 for a two-stroke lead after the second round of the SAS Championship in Cary, N.C.

    The 54-year-old lefthander, the 2010 winner at Prestonwood Country Club, birdied five of the first six holes, dropped a stroke on the par-5 seventh, and added birdies on Nos. 15 and 17. He won the Principal Charity Classic in Iowa in June for his fourth victory on the 50-and-over tour.

    Defending champion Bernhard Langer, Kirk Triplett, and David Frost were tied for second. They each shot their second straight 67. Triplett is coming off a successful title defense two weeks ago in the First Tee Open at Pebble Beach.

    European — Scotland’s Scott Jamieson matched the European Tour record with an 11-under 60 to pull within two strokes of leader Paul Waring after the third round of the Portugal Masters in Vilamoura. The 18th player to shoot 60 on the tour, Jamieson settled for par on the final hole when his 15-foot birdie chip grazed the edge of the hole and stayed out. After opening with rounds of 66 and 73 to make the cut by a stroke, he had 11 birdies in the bogey-free round.

    Waring, from England, had a 67 to reach 16 under.


    Jamieson was 14 under along with Ireland’s Simon Thornton, Wales’s Jamie Donaldson, and South Africa’s Hennie Otto.