Ryan Brehm turned a good round into a forgettable one Thursday, carding a hole-in-one on the par-3 17th hole at Innisbrook for a 5-under 66 to move into a three-way lead at the Valspar Championship in Palm Harbor, Florida.
Stefan Jaeger also had a 66, while Adam Schenck joined them with the low score of the afternoon at the Copperhead course.
Jordan Spieth, who returned to Innisbrook for the first time in five years, had a bogey-free round and was particularly sharp with the putter, making birdies from 60 feet and 30 feet on his way to a 67. Also on 67 were former US Open champion Lucas Glover and Maverick McNeely.
Brehm’s ace came with a 196-yard 6-iron and he closed with a par. It was his 11th time in the 60s in 43 rounds on the PGA Tour this season.
Jaeger had seven birdies on a morning that started with temperatures cool enough for some players to wear hats and extra layers. Schenck finished his round with a 10-foot par save on the par-3 eighth hole and then, after going from bunker to bunker on the ninth, made a 5-foot par putt.
Tommy Fleetwood had a 68, while a group of 69 included two-time defending champion Sam Burns and Justin Thomas, at No. 10, the highest-ranked player in the field.
EUROPEAN TOUR: David Ravetto and Christian Krog Johannesen shot 5-under 67s on the windy St. Francis Links course to share the clubhouse lead in the first round of the SDC Championship in St. Francis Bay, South Africa.
France’s Raveteau took six birdies and just one bogey and Norway’s Johannesen had an unblemished round of five birdies as the tournament made its tour debut.
They are one stroke ahead of Scotland’s Conor Syme in third. Syme had an eventful day, starting with three birdies and one bogey in the first four holes. He carded a total of seven birdies but also three bogeys for his 68.
WORLD CUP: The Women’s World Cup is receiving a more than 300% increase in prize money for this year’s tournament.
The $152 million fund for the inaugural 32-team tournament – covering prize money, team preparation and payments to players’ clubs – is a huge boost from the 24-team edition in 2019 and 10 times that in 2015.
Some of the $110 million in net prize money should be earmarked to pay players, FIFA president Gianni Infantino said in Rwanda after being re-elected by acclamation until 2027.
Infantino also reiterated his anger at broadcasters for offering too little for television rights. He said FIFA would not sell rights to broadcast the tournament in Australia and New Zealand at the prices currently on offer.
FORMULA ONE: Two-time Formula 1 champion Max Verstappen’s arrival at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix has been delayed due to a stomach problem.
The Red Bull pilot posted on Twitter that the illness had forced him to miss his first flight and meant he could not fulfill his planned media duties. The 25-year-old Dutchman was expected to arrive on Thursday evening in time for training on Friday.
INDIAN WELLS: Top seed Iga Swiatek cruised past Sorana Cirstea 6-2, 6-3 to reach the semifinals of the BNP Paribas Open on Thursday.
Swiatek, the defending champion, took a 4-0 lead in the second set and converted his second match point to close it out.
“I’m happy that I played with such intensity that I was able to start both sets well,” Svetek said. “I feel like I’m handling things pretty well and just playing my game.”
Next up for Swiatek is No. 10 seed Elena Rybakina, who beat Karolina Mukhova 7-6 (4), 2-6, 6-4. It will be a rematch from the Australian Open in January, when Rybakina won 6-4, 6-4 in the quarterfinals. Rybakina became the first woman from Kazakhstan to earn a place in a semi-final in Indian Wells.
WOMEN’S WORLD CUP: Swiss skier Lara Guth-Behrami won the women’s World Cup super-G in Soldeu, Andorra, and Mikaela Shiffrin finished 14th in her first race after setting the record for most career wins with 87.
Gut-Behrami produced a near-flawless run on the Aliga circuit to win the final super-G of the season and move ahead of Italian rival Elena Curtoni in the standings. Courtoni finished 1.23 seconds further back in 10th place, a day after crashing on the same hill.
Federica Brignone finished 0.22 seconds back in second place and Ragnhild Mowinkel was 0.47 seconds back in third. Both had to finish ahead of Gut-Behrami to keep their shot at the super-G title.
Shiffrin locked up the overall, giant slalom and slalom titles before the final races in her strongest events. The final slalom is on Saturday and the giant slalom is on Sunday.
MEN’S WORLD CUP: Swiss skier Marco Odermatt won the men’s super-G at the World Cup Finals in Soldeu, Andorra, to close in on the 23-year-old record for most points in a season.
The win took Odermatt’s total to 1,942 points, leaving him 58 shy of the all-time record set by Austrian great Hermann Meyer in the 1999-2000 season.
Odermatt can break the 2,000-point record with a top-three finish in Saturday’s giant slalom. He has finished on the podium in all eight of his giant slalom races he has started this season.
March Madness kicks off as No. 15 Princeton beats No. 2 Arizona, 59-55
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