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Jan 22, 2013 1:49am
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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. Cary Williams Jersey . —Tom Lehman took the
lead in the Charles Schwab Cup Championship and moved closer to becoming the
first player to win the season points title two straight years. Lehman birdied
the final hole for an 8-under 62 and a one-stroke lead over Fred Couples on
Saturday in the Champions Tours season-ending event. Couples also shot a 62 to
join Lehman in the final group, making two eagles in a round that could have
been much lower. “I really like the pairing,” Lehman said. “Hopefully, he plays
his best, and, hopefully, I play my best and well see what happens. ... You got
to go out there and make birdies and shoot low again.” Lehman shot the lowest
round of his Champions Tour career for the second straight day. At 63-62 and 15
under, he was a stroke off the tour record for consecutive rounds set by Bruce
Fleisher at 60-64 and 16 under in the 2002 RJR Championship. “I played really
well the last two days, probably as well as Ive played in six months,” said
Lehman, a two-time winner this year. “I hit the ball very solidly both days. I
gave myself a lot of chances for birdie. Ive made my share, obviously. I think
the big thing though is the saves. Ive made a couple of really amazing key saves
over the last couple of days.” Couples is playing for the first time since a
back injury forced him to withdraw during the first round of the Boeing Classic
outside Seattle in late August. Before this week, he hadnt completed a
competitive round since winning the Senior British Open in July for his second
victory of the year. “If I can play like this every two months, I think I might
finish my career playing four times a year and just say, “The heck with it,”
Couples said, joking. Lehman was 17 under after three days in perfect conditions
on Desert Mountains Cochise Course. He entered the week second behind
Bernhard Langer in the Charles Schwab Cup competition for a $1 million annuity.
Langer, tied for 10th at 6 under after a 70, was a projected 529 points behind
Lehman after starting play Thursday with a 211-point lead. The tournament winner
will get 880 points, with players receiving a point for every $500 they earn in
the $2.5 million event. Langer eagled the par-5 18th hole to get a little closer
to Lehman, who would win the title with a tournament victory no matter where
Langer finishes. “I was certainly not happy with my day today,” Langer said. “My
mindset has to be aggressive tomorrow. Ill pretty much go at everything.”
Jay Haas, five strokes ahead of Lehman at the start of the round after matching
the tour-record Friday with a 60, had a 69 to drop two strokes back. “I just
wasnt as sharp,” Haas said. “But the birdie at the last hole still gives me a
chance tomorrow, and leaves a better taste in my mouth.” Lehman made his best
par save on the par-4 16th, holing a bending 35-foot putt from the fringe after
popping up a 3-wood drive into a rock outcropping in the middle of the fairway.
“I might have teed it up a hair too high, but I just popped it up and it landed
right in the rocks,” Lehman said. “I actually got kind of lucky that I could at
least chip it out and hit a 9-iron.” His putt broke about 5 feet. “It was one of
those ones, quite frankly, I was just hoping to get close,” Lehman said. “It was
going to take my licking and keep on ticking with a bogey.” He then holed a
20-footer for birdie on the par-3 17th and got up and down for birdie from the
front greenside bunker on the 18. Couples chipped in for eagle on the par-5
eighth, his low runner veering to the right in the last few feet. He hit a
3-iron from 239 yards to 8 feet on the par-5 15th to set up his second eagle,
and got to 16 under with a 20-foot birdie putt on 17. He also missed five birdie
tries inside 12 feet in the middle of the round, and settled for a par on the 18
after hitting his approach into the greenside bunker well left of the flag. “I
did leave a couple out there, but I made a couple of nice 20-footers and,
obviously, chipped in on No. 8 for eagle,” Couples said. Ed Reed Jersey . He is certain Chicago is the
place for him, though. The White Sox announced a three-year, $12 million
contract with Keppinger on Monday after reaching an agreement last week, adding
a versatile infielder who could fill a hole at third base. Joe Flacco Pink Jersey . —Romeo Crennel is
sticking with Matt Cassel for now. http://www.theravensfootballstore.com/terrell-suggs-super-bowl-jersey/
. The shortest outing of his career. Lincecum was shelled for six runs in 2 1-3
innings Wednesday night as the Colorado Rockies snapped out of an offensive funk
with a wild 17-8 win over San Francisco. Bernard Pollard Jersey . Lobendahn spent four
seasons with the Blue Bombers but missed the majority of last season with a torn
ACL. Over his four-year stint in Winnipeg, he registered 180 tackles, seven
sacks, and one interception. Ed Reed Pink Jersey . The hard-serving No. 14
seed from Thornhill, Ont., had 10 aces on the day but the American countered
with an even dozen, wrapping up the match in 71 minutes.Alex Rodriguez will be
on the bench on Friday afternoon when the New York Yankees and Baltimore Orioles
play a winner take all showdown at Yankee Stadium with a trip to the ALCS on the
line. Game 3 hero Raul Ibanez will be in the New York lineup as designated
hitter while Eric Chavez plays third base. Rodriguez struggled in the first four
games and is just 2-for-16 with nine strikeouts in the series. Hes not the only
one, though, as Curtis Granderson (1-for-16), Cano (2-for-18) and Nick Swisher
(2-for-15) have all failed in big spots. “Were obviously frustrated after having
several situations to do some damage,” Rodriguez said Thursday. After a crushing
extra-inning loss on Wednesday, Baltimore staved off elimination in Game 4 on
Thursday, as J.J. Hardys RBI double in the 13th inning lifted the Orioles to a
2-1 victory. The hit made a winner of Pedro Strop (1-0), who allowed one hit and
struck out two over two scoreless innings of relief. “Its an honor to be in Game
5 with them,” Baltimore manager Buck Showalter said. “You knew all along that
the road to where we want to try to get is going to have to pass through there
and here.” Nate McLouth hit his first career postseason homer in the win, while
Jim Johnson pitched a perfect 13th to record his second save of the series.
Johnson, of course, served up a game-tying home run to Raul Ibanez in the ninth
inning of Wednesdays 12-inning setback. David Phelps (0-1) surrendered the
deciding run to take the loss. Robinson Cano knocked in the lone run for New
York, which hit 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position and left 10 men on
base. “Its playoff baseball and the games are extremely tight. Usually the
difference in these games is one hit. That basically has been the difference,”
Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “Its been very good pitching. They controlled
the bats for the most part, and its come down to one hit.” The Yankees are
shooting for their third trip to the ALCS in the last four years, while
Baltimore hasnt advanced past the first round since 1997. New York should have
an edge on Friday with lefty CC Sabathia on the hill. Sabathia was brilliant in
his Game 1 win, allowing two runs and eight hiits in 8 2/3 innings. Haloti Ngata Black Jersey. He also struck out
seven and walked a batter in his third straight win overall. “Its time to go,”
Sabathia said late Thursday night. “This is a one-game playoff and this is what
we play for. Were here in the Bronx, at home, and like I said, Ill be excited
and ready to go.” Sabathia is 6-1 with a 3.29 ERA in 11 playoff starts with New
York, but has pitched to a 4.56 ERA in 17 career postseason outings. Baltimore,
meanwhile, will counter with righty Jason Hammel, who also pitched well in Game
1. Hammel did not factor in the decision, but surrendered two runs and four hits
with four walks in 5 2/3 innings. “Its obviously an honor to be the one toeing
the slab,” said Hammel, who allowed two runs in 5 2/3 innings against the
Yankees on Sunday. “But its been a team effort to get here … Were very
confident that we can go ahead and win one more. “It is all or nothing, but
theres no reason to pressure ourselves anymore. Weve done this a million times
this year. It seems like weve played these guys to a one run game every time
out. Its really nothing new.” This will be his fifth start this season against
the Yankees, who have managed just three runs over their last 10 2/3 innings
against Hammel. Showalter may need a big effort from Hammel on Friday, as Os
relievers have thrown 11 1/3 innings over past two games. Including San
Francisco and Detroits wins on Thursday, there have been 18 Division Series Game
5s and 11 have been won by the road team. Six of those 11 wins have come in the
AL. Of the last 13 opening-round series to go to a Game 5, the home team has won
only three of those contests The Yankees know that stat all too well, as they
dropped a decisive fifth game at home last year to Detroit. They are also 5-4
all-time in best-of-five Game 5s. The Tigers, of course, won a Game 5 of their
own on Wednesday and will play the winner of Fridays game in Game 1 of the ALCS
on Saturday. The Orioles and Yankees are certainly no strangers to one another
and in addition to splitting 18 regular season meetings this season, these teams
also met in the 1996 ALCS, a series won by New York, but one that was made
famous by the Jeffrey Maier catch. New York won that series in five games. ’ ’ ’  

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