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Published: Sun, 22 Jan 2017 20:49:32 -0500

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Once mighty Lakers endure biggest loss in franchise history

Sun, 22 Jan 2017 20:49:32 -0500

(image) (The Sports Xchange) - The Los Angeles Lakers have endured some low points in recent seasons, but the nadir occurred Sunday. The Dallas Mavericks blitzed Los Angeles in the second quarter and handed the Lakers the worst loss in franchise history, 122-73. "We have teaching points, but what I say to them behind those doors, that is between us," Lakers coach Luke Walton said.



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Lakers suffer historic rout in Mavericks blowout

Sun, 22 Jan 2017 20:48:47 -0500

(image) The Los Angeles Lakers crashed to the heaviest defeat in the iconic NBA franchise's history on Sunday, slumping to a humiliating 122-73 loss on the road against the Dallas Mavericks. The Lakers, who are in the midst of a rebuilding phase after two disastrous seasons, hit rock bottom in Dallas after a nightmarish first half that saw them trailing by 34 points at the break. "We didn't show up to play, honestly, which is frustrating," Walton told a press conference.



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Falcons beat Packers 44-21 to reach Super Bowl

Sun, 22 Jan 2017 20:32:36 -0500

(image) (Reuters) - Matt Ryan piloted high-flying Atlanta to a 44-21 rout of the Green Bay Packers in the National Football Conference (NFC) Championship game on Sunday as the Falcons advanced to the Super Bowl for just the second time. Quarterback Ryan underlined his credentials as the favorite for National Football League (NFL) most valuable player honor, throwing for four touchdowns and running for another to reach the Feb. 5 Super Bowl in Houston, where Atlanta will take on either the New England Patriots or Pittsburgh Steelers.



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Swafford stands tall with maiden PGA Tour win

Sun, 22 Jan 2017 20:31:16 -0500

(image) (Reuters) - American journeyman Hudson Swafford, whose focus all week was on "standing tall", birdied three of the last four holes to clinch his first PGA Tour title by one shot on Sunday at the $5.8 million CareerBuilder Challenge in La Quinta, California. Two strokes off the pace going into the final round on the hosting Stadium Course, Swafford fired a sparkling five-under-par 67 in overcast conditions to hold off a late challenge by third-round leader Adam Hadwin of Canada. Swafford, who also produced good form last week to tie for 13th at the Sony Open in Hawaii, picked up shots at the 15th, 16th and 17th to move a stroke clear of a congested leaderboard before parring the last to post a 20-under total of 268.



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Swafford claims first PGA win in 93rd start

Sun, 22 Jan 2017 20:11:13 -0500

(image) Hudson Swafford finally joined the winner's circle, firing a five-under 67 for a one-stroke victory at the PGA Tour's CareerBuilder Challenge. The 29-year-old American on Sunday birdied three of his last four holes to claim his maiden USPGA Tour win in his 93rd Tour start. Bud Cauley and Brian Harman both shot 69s and finished in a tie for third at 18-under 270.



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Golf-FedEx Cup rankings

Sun, 22 Jan 2017 20:03:50 -0500

Jan 23 (Gracenote) - FedEx Cup rankings 1. (1) Justin Thomas (U.S.) 1614 2. (2) Hideki Matsuyama (Japan) 1177 3. (3) Pat Perez (U.S.) 754 4. (4) Brendan Steele (U.S.) 743 5. (5) Mackenzie Hughes (Canada) 643 6. (69) Hudson Swafford (U.S.) 610 7. (6) Rod Pampling (Australia) 560 8. (7) Cody Gribble (U.S.) 481 9. (8) Russell Knox (Britain) 449 10. (48) Adam Hadwin (Canada) 439 11. (9) Gary Woodland (U.S.) 411 12. (10) Luke List (U.S.) 393 13. (11) Scott Piercy (U.S.) 368 14. (19) Charles Howell III (U.S.) 339 15. (12) Jordan Spieth (U.S.) 335 16. (22) Chez Reavie (U.S.) 334 17. ...



Golf-Race to Dubai rankings

Sun, 22 Jan 2017 19:53:20 -0500

Jan 23 (Gracenote) - Race to Dubai rankings 1. Tommy Fleetwood (Britain) 526481 2. Sam Brazel (Australia) 318540 3. Pablo Larrazabal (Spain) 276594 4. Rafael Cabrera-Bello (Spain) 237776 5. Andrew Dodt (Australia) 227984 6. Graeme Storm (Britain) 204709 7. Brandon Stone (South Africa) 198498 8. Harold Varner III (U.S.) 175631 9. Dean Burmester (South Africa) 141976 10. Richard Sterne (South Africa) 138000 11. Rory McIlroy (Britain) 119287 12. Thomas Aiken (South Africa) 116550 13. Bernd Wiesberger (Austria) 107306 13. Martin Kaymer (Germany) 107306 13. Kiradech Aphibarnrat (Thailand) 107306 ...



Royals pitcher Ventura killed in car crash

Sun, 22 Jan 2017 19:22:49 -0500

(image) (Reuters) - Kansas City Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura has been killed in a car crash in the Dominican Republic, the Major League Baseball team said on Sunday. "It is with a heavy and broken heart that we confirm the passing of Yordano Ventura," said Royals vice president of communications and broadcasting Mike Swanson on the team website (www.kansascity.royals.mlb.com). Ventura, one of the hardest-throwing starting pitchers in the majors, was 25.



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Atlanta Falcons rout Green Bay Packers to reach Super Bowl

Sun, 22 Jan 2017 19:08:17 -0500

(image) Quarterback Matt Ryan led a dominant offensive display as the Atlanta Falcons crushed the Green Bay Packers 44-21 on Sunday to advance to the Super Bowl for only the second time in franchise history. The Falcons, who will play either the New England Patriots or Pittsburgh Steelers in the February 5 NFL showpiece, laid the foundations for an emphatic NFC Championship victory with a first half performance. The Falcons surged into a 24-0 half-time lead after overwhelming the Packers defense with their varied running and passing game in what was the team's final game at Atlanta's Georgia Dome before they move into a new home.



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Golf-Swafford stands tall with maiden PGA Tour win

Sun, 22 Jan 2017 18:52:12 -0500

(Adds quotes, details) * Closing 67 earns Swafford first Tour win * Grabs title with late birdie show Jan 22 (Reuters) - American journeyman Hudson Swafford, whose focus all week was on "standing tall", birdied three of the last four holes to clinch his first PGA Tour title by one shot on Sunday at the $5.8 million CareerBuilder Challenge in La Quinta, California. Two strokes off the pace going into the final round on the hosting Stadium Course, Swafford fired a sparkling five-under-par 67 in overcast conditions to hold off a late challenge by third-round leader Adam Hadwin of Canada. Swafford, who also produced good form last week to tie for 13th at the Sony Open in Hawaii, picked up shots at the 15th, 16th and 17th to move a stroke clear of a congested leaderboard before parring the last to post a 20-under total of 268.



Warriors shake off sleep to pummel Magic

Sun, 22 Jan 2017 18:17:39 -0500

Miami (AFP) - 'The Golden State Warriors shrugged off an early start to pummel the Orlando Magic 118-98 and seal their seventh consecutive victory on Sunday. Stephen Curry led the Warriors' scoring with 27 points, draining seven of 13 three-point attempts as the Dubs improved to 38-6. The victory leaves the Warriors on pace to become the first team in history to win 65 games or more for three NBA seasons in a row.



Golf-U.S. PGA Tour CareerBuilder Challenge scores

Sun, 22 Jan 2017 18:08:50 -0500

Jan 22 (Gracenote) - Scores from the U.S. PGA Tour CareerBuilder Challenge at the par-72 course on Sunday in La Quinta, California -20 Hudson Swafford (U.S.) 65 65 71 67 -19 Adam Hadwin (Canada) 71 69 59 70 -18 Brian Harman (U.S.) 67 65 69 69 Bud Cauley (U.S.) 69 67 65 69 -17 Dominic Bozzelli (U.S.) 64 67 69 71 -16 Brendan Steele (U.S.) 68 64 70 70 Chad Campbell (U.S.) 66 69 66 71 -15 Scott Stallings (U.S.) 67 71 69 66 -14 Martin Laird (Britain) 68 66 71 69 Sean O'Hair (U.S.) 67 69 69 69 Richy Werenski (U.S.) 69 67 68 70 -13 Chez Reavie (U.S. ...



Golf-Swafford builds career with first PGA Tour victory

Sun, 22 Jan 2017 17:58:23 -0500

American journeyman Hudson Swafford birdied three of the last four holes to clinch his first PGA Tour title by one shot on Sunday at the $5.8 million CareerBuilder Challenge in La Quinta, California. Two strokes off the pace going into the final round on the hosting Stadium Course, Swafford fired a sparkling five-under-par 67 in overcast conditions to hold off a late challenge by third-round leader Adam Hadwin of Canada. Swafford, who also produced good form last week to tie for 13th at the Sony Open in Hawaii, picked up shots at the 15th, 16th and 17th to move one stroke clear of a congested leaderboard before comfortably parring the last to post a 20-under total of 268.



Sleepy Warriors wake up in time to stop the Magic

Sun, 22 Jan 2017 16:45:16 -0500

(The Sports Xchange) - Even when they are half asleep, the Golden State Warriors still dominate the NBA. With an East Coast start time of noon, the Warriors awakened slowly Sunday but finished with a flourish, overpowering the Orlando Magic 118-98 at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida. The Warriors (38-6) won their seventh consecutive game, keeping pace to become the first NBA team in history to win at least 65 games for three consecutive seasons.



Royals pitcher Ventura dies in car accident

Sun, 22 Jan 2017 13:19:49 -0500

Kansas City Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura died Sunday after a car accident in his native Dominican Republic, the Major League Baseball team confirmed in a statement. Ventura, 25, a member of the Royals pitching rotation during their 2015 World Series win, died early Sunday, the team said. Ventura's death came on the same day that former major league player Andy Marte died in a separate car crash, also in the Dominican Republic, according to a statement by his management company on Twitter.



Royals pitcher Ventura killed in car crash

Sun, 22 Jan 2017 12:25:04 -0500

(image) (Reuters) - Kansas City Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura has been killed in a car crash in the Dominican Republic, the Major League Baseball team said on Sunday. "It is with a heavy and broken heart that we confirm the passing of Yordano Ventura," said Royals vice president of communications and broadcasting Mike Swanson on the team website (www.kansascity.royals.mlb.com). Ventura had spent his entire Major League career in Kansas City, helping the Royals to a World Series title in 2015 and posting a 13-8 record.



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Fleetwood scorches back nine for Abu Dhabi golf win

Sun, 22 Jan 2017 11:09:07 -0500

England’s world number 102 Tommy Fleetwood overcame swirling winds and final-hole jitters to win the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship by one shot on Sunday. The 25 year old carded a five-under-par final-round 67 to clinch only the second European Tour title of his career. Tied with him on 16 under par was Spain's 2014 champion Pablo Larrazabal, who also shot 68.



Britain's Fleetwood wins Abu Dhabi Championship

Sun, 22 Jan 2017 10:34:09 -0500

(Reuters) - Britain's Tommy Fleetwood kept his composure to come from behind and win his first European Tour title in more than three years at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship on Sunday. The 26-year-old Englishman posted a five-under-par 67 in his final round to finish 17 under par -- one shot ahead of U.S. Open champion Dustin Johnson, who hit an eagle on the last, and 2014 Abu Dhabi winner, Pablo Larrazabal of Spain. Fleetwood's second tour win came after he began the final round one shot behind overnight leader Tyrrell Hatton.



China bans more than 100 golf courses to safeguard resources

Sun, 22 Jan 2017 10:02:53 -0500

China has ordered the closure of more than 100 golf courses, the powerful state planner said on Sunday, after a multi-year campaign to tackle illegal development in the sector. Beijing banned new golf courses in 2004 to protect scarce arable land and water resources but new projects continued to be built to meet growing demand from China's wealthy. Of a total 683 courses in the country, 111 have been ordered to close following a crackdown launched in 2011, said the National Development and Reform Commission.



Golf-Britain's Fleetwood wins Abu Dhabi Championship

Sun, 22 Jan 2017 09:59:34 -0500

(Adds quotes, detail) (.) Jan 22 (Reuters) - Britain's Tommy Fleetwood kept his composure to come from behind and win his first European Tour title in more than three years at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship on Sunday. The 26-year-old Englishman posted a five-under-par 67 in his final round to finish 17 under par -- one shot ahead of U.S. Open champion Dustin Johnson, who hit an eagle on the last, and 2014 Abu Dhabi winner, Pablo Larrazabal of Spain. Fleetwood's second tour win came after he began the final round one shot behind overnight leader Tyrrell Hatton.



Golf-Britain's Fleetwood wins Abu Dhabi Championship

Sun, 22 Jan 2017 08:45:50 -0500

Britain's Tommy Fleetwood came from behind to win his first European Tour title in more than three years at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship on Sunday. The 26-year-old Englishman posted a five-under-par 67 in his final round to finish 17 under par -- one shot ahead of U.S. Open champion Dustin Johnson and 2014 Abu Dhabi winner, Pablo Larrazabal of Spain. Fleetwood's second tour win came after he began the final round one shot behind overnight leader Tyrrell Hatton.



Golf-European Tour Abu Dhabi Championship scores

Sun, 22 Jan 2017 08:23:03 -0500

Jan 22 (Gracenote) - Scores from the European Tour Abu Dhabi Championship at the par-72 course on Sunday in Abu Dhabi -17 Tommy Fleetwood (Britain) 67 67 70 67 -16 Pablo Larrazabal (Spain) 68 67 69 68 Dustin Johnson (U.S. ...



Prayad wins Singapore Open after Scott's watery woe

Sun, 22 Jan 2017 03:36:16 -0500

Veteran Thai golfer Prayad Marksaeng won the Singapore Open by a single stroke on Sunday after the tournament favourite Adam Scott blew his chances of a fourth title by hitting two balls into the water. Prayad shot a final round of four-under-par 67 to finish at nine-under 275 and capture his 20th title since turning professional in 1991, earning himself a place in this year’s British Open. Four players -- Phachara Khongwatmai of Thailand, Juvic Pagunsan of the Philippines, Jbe Kruger of South Africa and the defending champion, South Korea’s Song Young-Han -- finished tied for second after a thrilling final day where six players had a share of the lead.



Popovich pops off at "racist" Trump

Sun, 22 Jan 2017 01:47:32 -0500

San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich took aim at Donald Trump Saturday, devoting nearly half of his pre-game news conference to describing his contempt for the newly sworn-in American President. Popovich, 67, called Trump a bully, chastised his top advisors and praised Saturday's protests defending the rights of women on Trump's first day in office. "It does boggle the mind how somebody can be so thin-skinned," Popovich said.



Spurs slip past Cavs in OT, Hornets topple the Nets

Sun, 22 Jan 2017 01:42:49 -0500

Kawhi Leonard finished off a dunk in the final seconds of overtime, capping a career high 41-point performance as the San Antonio Spurs outlasted the Cleveland Cavaliers 118-115. "I am in a groove," Leonard said. LeBron James tied up Leonard for a jump ball with 13 seconds left and Cleveland behind by three points.



Leonard's late dunk lifts Spurs to OT win over Cavaliers

Sun, 22 Jan 2017 01:08:11 -0500

(The Sports Xchange) - Kawhi Leonard capped his career-high, 41-point night with a dunk in the final seconds and the San Antonio Spurs held on for a 118-115 overtime victory Saturday night against the Cleveland Cavaliers. LeBron James tied up Leonard for a jump ball with 13 seconds left and the Cavs down 3. James won the tip, but the ball was headed out of bounds when Kevin Love saved it and fired it behind his back inbounds.



Morris' game winner pushes Pistons past Wizards

Sat, 21 Jan 2017 23:44:09 -0500

Marcus Morris delivered a game-winning putback as time expired on the clock to lift the Detroit Pistons to a 113-112 win over the Washington Wizards on Saturday. Detroit squandered a 16-point lead in the final quarter before the clutch basket by Morris who finished with a game-high 25 points and 11 rebounds. The Pistons launched three desperation shots during a mad scramble in the closing seconds leading up to the final buzzer in front of a crowd of 18,200 at The Palace arena.



Lillard lifts Portland over Celtics in overtime

Sat, 21 Jan 2017 22:16:17 -0500

Damian Lillard scored 28 points as the Portland Trail Blazers salvaged some pride at the end of a dreadful four-game road trip with a 127-123 overtime win over the Boston Celtics. "That was a huge win, especially on this trip losing the first three," said Lillard who scored 25 of his 28 points after halftime. Portland won Saturday despite 41 points by Boston's Isaiah Thomas, including 21 in the fourth quarter and overtime as he continued his hot scoring streak.



Packers late into Atlanta after being fogged in at home

Sat, 21 Jan 2017 20:56:10 -0500

The Packers' charter flight was unable to land in Green Bay's Austin Straubel International Airport in Wisconsin on Saturday due to heavy fog. The Packers then boarded a bus and headed 125 miles south to Milwaukee to catch the plane and depart for Atlanta, according to multiple reports. The charter flight was scheduled to depart Green Bay at 2 p.m. U.S. Central time (2000 GMT).



Canadian Hadwin shoots 59 at PGA Tour event

Sat, 21 Jan 2017 20:27:09 -0500

(Reuters) - Canadian Adam Hadwin became the eighth player to break 60 on the PGA Tour, and the second in successive weeks, with a superb 13-under-par display in the third round of the CareerBuilder Challenge in La Quinta, California on Saturday. Just nine days after American Justin Thomas fired an opening 59 at the Sony Open in Hawaii, Hadwin followed suit at La Quinta Country Club, one of three venues hosting the pro-am event in the Coachella Valley where low scoring is a perennial factor. Asked to assess the quality of his golf at La Quinta, Hadwin told Golf Channel: "Perfect I guess?



Hadwin on PGA Tour career upswing takes lead with 59

Sat, 21 Jan 2017 20:26:21 -0500

(image) (Reuters) - Canadian Adam Hadwin provided the fireworks with a sizzling 59 to vault one stroke clear after Saturday's third round of the $5.8 million CareerBuilder Challenge in La Quinta, California. On a day when overnight leader Hudson Swafford made a mess of his last three holes, Hadwin took advantage of near-perfect greens at La Quinta Country Club, one of three venues hosting the pro-am event formerly called the Bob Hope Classic, as he became the eighth player to break 60 on the PGA Tour. Hadwin did well to par the last, getting up and down from just off the back of the green before he removed his cap and hoisted his putter skywards, then smiled broadly as he was congratulated by the other players in his pro-am grouping.     “I didn't want to make bogey, that's the last thing I wanted to do,” Hadwin told Golf Channel about his final putt of the day, a four-footer at the par-four 18th.



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Patriots and Steelers in royal clash for shot at Super Bowl

Sat, 21 Jan 2017 20:25:01 -0500

(image) In a match-up of NFL royalty, the New England Patriots and quarterback Tom Brady host the Pittsburgh Steelers in Sunday's AFC title clash with the winner earning a record ninth trip to the Super Bowl. Both teams have been on a tear, with the Patriots riding an eight-game winning streak, while the Steelers and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger have claimed nine straight.



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NFL Colts sack general manager Grigson

Sat, 21 Jan 2017 19:42:03 -0500

(image) The Indianapolis Colts fired general manager Ryan Grigson on Saturday after the team missed the NFL playoffs for the second consecutive season, Colts owner Jim Irsay announced Saturday. Irsay also said that Chuck Pagano would remain as the Colts' head coach in 2017. The Colts went 8-8 this season, finishing third in the AFC South division and missing the post-season again.



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Golf-Hadwin on PGA Tour career upswing takes lead with 59

Sat, 21 Jan 2017 19:14:17 -0500

Canadian Adam Hadwin provided the fireworks with a sizzling 59 to vault one stroke clear after Saturday's third round of the $5.8 million CareerBuilder Challenge in La Quinta, California. On a day when overnight leader Hudson Swafford made a mess of his last three holes, Hadwin took advantage of near-perfect greens at La Quinta Country Club, one of three venues hosting the pro-am event formerly called the Bob Hope Classic, as he became the eighth player to break 60 on the PGA Tour. Hadwin did well to par the last, getting up and down from just off the back of the green before he removed his cap and hoisted his putter skywards, then smiled broadly as he was congratulated by the other players in his pro-am grouping.



Canada's Hadwin fires rare 59 to grab US PGA lead

Sat, 21 Jan 2017 19:04:47 -0500

(image) Canada's Adam Hadwin became only the eighth golfer to shoot 59 over 18 holes at a US PGA Tour event, sinking 13 birdies in a bogey-free third round Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge. The 29-year-old from suburban Vancouver was one stroke off the tour record 58 fired last year by American Jim Furyk at the Travelers Championship. It was the second US PGA Tour 59 in as many weeks, following American Justin Thomas firing 59 on the way to victory in the opening round at last week's Sony Open in Hawaii.



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Golf-Canadian Hadwin becomes eighth man to break 60 on PGA Tour

Sat, 21 Jan 2017 17:46:00 -0500

Canadian Adam Hadwin became the eighth player to break 60 on the PGA Tour, and the second in successive weeks, with a superb 13-under-par display in the third round of the CareerBuilder Challenge in La Quinta, California on Saturday. Just nine days after American Justin Thomas fired an opening 59 at the Sony Open in Hawaii, Hadwin followed suit at La Quinta Country Club, one of three venues hosting the pro-am event in the Coachella Valley where low scoring is a perennial factor. The 29-year-old from Saskatchewan, who has yet to win on the PGA Tour, reeled off six consecutive birdies from the second hole as he raced to the turn in seven-under 29, and then plundered five in a row from the 11th.



Popovich 'factors a lot' in LeBron 2020 Olympic decision

Sat, 21 Jan 2017 17:19:03 -0500

(image) Having Gregg Popovich coach the US Olympic basketball team is a major consideration for LeBron James as he ponders seeking 2020 Tokyo gold, the NBA superstar said Saturday. "It factors a lot," the Cleveland Cavaliers superstar said. Popovich, coach of the NBA's San Antonio Spurs, has taken over the US national team program following the retirement of Duke University coach Mike Krzyzewski, who guided American collections of NBA talent to Olympic gold in 2008, 2012 and last year in Rio.



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Wade apologizes, Butler fumes over bitter NBA Bulls loss

Sat, 21 Jan 2017 17:04:45 -0500

(image) Dwyane Wade is apologetic, Jimmy Butler is frustrated and the Chicago Bulls are mired in misery after a humbling NBA home loss to Atlanta left them with a losing record. The Hawks took a 35-13 lead after the first quarter on the way to a 102-93 triumph in which 35-year-old starting Bulls guard Wade made only 2-of-10 shots for four points with three rebounds and three assists. "That performance was AWFUL!!! I apologize to all the Chicago fans and Wade fans," tweeted Wade, a three-time NBA champion guard for Miami who joined the Bulls this season.



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Consistent Hatton inches ahead in Abu Dhabi

Sat, 21 Jan 2017 14:10:01 -0500

(image) (Reuters) - Briton Tyrrell Hatton hit a second successive four-under-par 68 on Saturday to take a one-shot lead after three rounds of a fiercely contested Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. Hatton, who has finished in the top 10 seven times in his last 11 events, recorded five birdies for the third round in succession and carded just a single bogey. Among those in the chasing pack were British Open champion Henrik Stenson, fellow Swede Alex Noren and 23-times European Tour winner Lee Westwood, all just three shots off the lead.



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Golf--Consistent Hatton inches ahead in Abu Dhabi

Sat, 21 Jan 2017 13:37:52 -0500

Briton Tyrrell Hatton hit a second successive four-under-par 68 on Saturday to take a one-shot lead after three rounds of a fiercely contested Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. Hatton, who has finished in the top 10 seven times in his last 11 events, recorded five birdies for the third round in succession and carded just a single bogey. Among those in the chasing pack were British Open champion Henrik Stenson, fellow Swede Alex Noren and 23-times European Tour winner Lee Westwood, all just three shots off the lead.