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Mediate bags another eagle to increase lead at

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SAN MARTIN, Calif. » Rocco Mediate holed a 7-iron approach from 160 yards for eagle on the par-4 fourth hole and finished with a 6-under 65 yesterday to increase his lead to three strokes in the Open.

The 46-year-old Mediate, looking for his first PGA Tour victory in eight years, made the eagle on the 426-yard hole a day after a hole-in-one on the par-3 third hole. He had a 13-under 129 total on the CordeValle Golf Club course in the Fall Series event.

Ryudi Imada (67) was second, and Kaneohe native Dean Wilson (64) and David Duval (65) followed at 9 under.

U.S. Ryder Cup player Rickie Fowler shot a 65 to join Tim Herron (67), Will MacKenzie (68), Henrik Stenson (67) and Bo Van Pelt (68) at 8 under.

Mediate had eagles in consecutive rounds for the first time since 2001.

"It is just weird," Mediate said. "A lot of stuff is happening. When that went in, I was ‘Really?’ I was pleased, but shocked."

Mediate, for years troubled by back problems, was slightly on edge because of his 7:20 a.m. tee time, concerned that he couldn’t get loose in the cold.

"I was a little nervy to start because I was concerned the morning might be chilly," Mediate said. "I don’t do well in the cold. But it wasn’t too bad. I hit a couple of putts and got some momentum."

Mediate birdied four of his first 12 holes before his eagle, which made up for a later bogey.

"That was my record by miles, 34 holes without a bogey," Mediate said. "I was so disappointed, but how could I be that angry? I wanted to go at least 36 holes. I actually tried to bogey the ninth hole too."


Nocera, Recari tied

Rookies Gwladys Nocera and Beatriz Recari each shot a 6-under 66 and were tied for the lead after the second round of the CVS/pharmacy LPGA Challenge, taking advantage of a rough day for Brittany Lincicome.

Recari had an eagle and five birdies over her final 10 holes to get to 10-under 134. Nocera finished with seven birdies.

Amy Hung was alone in third at 9 under. Michele Redman, Wendy Ward, Stacy Lewis and Ilhee Lee were at 136.

Lincicome, who shot a blistering 11-under 61 on Thursday to build a four-stroke lead, struggled off the tee all afternoon and shot a 76 that left her at 7 under.

A 10-time winner on the European Tour before joining the LPGA, the 35-year-old Nocera overcame a rough start to match her best round of the season.

Recari was 1 over through her first eight holes before picking up five strokes over the next four holes. The 23-year-old Spaniard had a chance to overtake Nocera but missed a long birdie putt on 18.


Lafeber leads by 2

Maarten Lafeber of Netherlands shot a 5-under 67 to take a two-stroke lead in the Portugal Masters.

An eagle on the second hole at the Oceanico Victoria club course started Lafeber’s charge up the leaderboard to 13-under 131. Mikko Ilonen of Finland was in second at 11 under after a 68.

Lafeber, who had a share of the overnight lead after a 64 Thursday, holed a sand wedge from 110 yards out at No. 2 and followed up with a birdie putt on No. 3.

Francesco Molinari of Italy, who recently made his European Ryder Cup debut, rebounded from an opening 74, producing 10 birdies for a 62 that was just off the course record of 61 held by Martin Kaymer.


Harrington out in front

Three-time major champion Padraig Harrington shot a 5-under 67 to grab the lead in the Iskandar Johor Open.

Harrington was at 13-under 131, one shot better than Taiwan’s Lin Wen-tang at the Horizon Hills Golf and Country Club in Malaysia’s southern Johor state.

Lin, a five-time winner in Asia, finished with the day’s best round of 65 in windy conditions.


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