Woodstock, Vt. native Keegan Bradley tees off the 18th hole during the third round of the PGA Zurich Classic on Saturday. Bradley is seeking his fourth PGA Tour victory.
AVONDALE, La. — Seung-Yul Noh became the first player to complete 54 holes at the TPC Louisiana without a bogey and strung together three birdies late in his round Saturday to surge two strokes ahead of Keegan Bradley atop the Zurich Classic leaderboard.
Noh shot a 7-under 65 to reach 18-under 198.
Bradley, who began the day tied for seventh at 9 under, pulled into a tie with Noh for first on No. 15 with his seventh birdie of the day. Then, Noh, who was tied for third at 11 under after two rounds, made birdie putts of 13 feet on 14 and 10 feet on 15 before hitting a 112-yard approach shot to a foot for another birdie, bringing him to 18 under.
Bradley also shot 65.
Robert Streb was third, three shots back after a 68.
Ben Martin, who had a three-shot lead after two rounds, shot a 73 to drop into a tie for fourth with Jeff Overton and Andrew Svoboda at 14 under. Overton shot 67, and Svoboda 70.
Noh, from South Korea, has been playing with yellow and blue ribbons affixed to his cap to honor victims of the fatal ferry accident in the waters off of his home country.
He said he hoped he could play well Sunday to provide Koreans with a dose of good news.
This marks the first time that Noh has led a PGA Tour event through three rounds. This is his third year on the tour, but he finished outside the top 125 on the money list last season, forcing him to play in Web.com Tour Finals events to retain his tour card.
He had never before been higher on the leaderboard than tied for second through three rounds. That happened once at the 2012 AT&T National, but he shot a 2-over 73 in his final round to finish tied fo fourth, his best finish in 77 previous career PGA Tour starts.
Martin had raced to the lead with a course-record 10-under 62 in his first round, and his 36-hole score of 129 also was a course record. Teeing off with the final group, his trouble began on the par-5 second hole. He pushed his second shot to the right toward the crowd. His ball hit a spectator and kicked right into a cluster of long pompass grass, out of which it was virtually impossible to hit.
Martin took a drop and wound up with a bogey.
Pacers 91, Hawks 88
ATLANTA — Paul George and David West hit key 3-pointers down the stretch, and the top-seeded Indiana Pacers held off the Atlanta Hawks 91-88 Saturday to even the opening-round series at two wins apiece.
In a game they had to have, the Pacers finally showed some grit and regained the home-court edge. George put the Pacers ahead 86-85 with a jumper beyond the arc, and West hit another trey with 1:33 remaining.
Atlanta had a chance after Kyle Korver was fouled in the corner and knocked down three free throws, taking advantage of a do-over after the Pacers were called for a lane violation on the third attempt. But George pulled down an offensive rebound to set up George Hill’s driving shot with 56 seconds left.
Pero Antic missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer that would’ve forced overtime.
Game 5 is Monday in Indianapolis.
George scored 24 points and West added 18. Paul Millsap led the Hawks with 29.
McPhee, Oates get ax
WASHINGTON — General manager George McPhee and coach Adam Oates lost their jobs with the Washington Capitals on Saturday, about two weeks after the team failed to make the playoffs for the first time since 2007.
”We were left with the overall impression that the team wasn’t trending toward being able to compete for a Stanley Cup,” Capitals owner Ted Leonsis said in a news conference at the club’s arena. “And that was just a clear signal and why it was time to make those changes.”
McPhee’s contract was up and the team announced it will not give him a new one after his 17 years as the GM, which included drafting Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom in the first round.
Oates was fired with one season left on his three-year deal. A former star player for the Capitals, he was in his first job as an NHL head coach.
Washington finished this season with the ninth-most points in the Eastern Conference, one spot out of a playoff berth.
“You have to do something to pivot the team to be an ongoing strong team,” Leonsis said. “And I just felt that new leadership at this time was needed, and let’s start it with a clean slate.”
Asked whether any player would be untouchable as part of upcoming changes a chance, perhaps, for Leonsis to mention captain and top scorer Ovechkin the owner replied: “I’m not the general manager. So If the general manager comes with something, we would listen to the general manager.”
Ovechkin has won three league MVP awards and again led the NHL in scoring this season with 51 goals, but the Capitals haven’t made it past the second round of the playoffs during the Russian wing’s career.
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