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Porter Cup round two recap

By Jay Skurski

At the top: He's from Massachusetts, but Richy Werenski strikes the perfect California cool vibe. The 20-year-old Georgia Tech junior with a great name shot a sparkling 8-under 62 Thursday in the second round of the 54th Porter Cup to open a four-shot lead. Werenski, who's playing in his first Porter Cup, has yet to make a bogey.

In the hunt: Joining Werenski in the final group today will be defending champion Patrick Rodgers and Justin Thomas, the fifth- and sixth-ranked players in the world, by the Scratch Players World Amateur Rankings. No pressure. Thomas, the best collegiate golfer in the country, shot a 63 Thursday, while Rodgers carded "only" a 65. Also at 8 under, four shots back and tied with Rodgers and Thomas, is University of Florida senior Tyler McCumber. It's a great leader board, one that Tournament Director Steve Denn must have been hoping for before the tournament started.

Birdie barrage: The wind picked up and then the rain came in the afternoon, but you wouldn't know it by looking at some of the scorecards turned in Thursday. Lewiston's own Mike Boss ripped off five birdies in a row to start his back nine, shooting a round of 66. Werenski birdied four in a row and five of six holes. McCumber went five in a row and six of seven at one point in his round.

Locals go low: Boss' 66 was his career best at NFCC, where he's the club champion. Clarence's Matt Stasiak shot 3-under 67 in the second round to move up 26 spots in the field.

Buffalo's Chris Covelli also improved on his opening-round 74 by shooting a 73. It was a struggle for North Tonawanda's James Blackwell and Hamburg's Brian Jurkiewicz, though. They shot 77 and 79, respectively, and will be in the first group off the tee at 8:30 a.m. Friday.

Quotable: "After that I really tried to hammer on the gas pedal and see how low I can go ... It was just a good day," -- Thomas, talking about his stretch of four straight birdies.



Porter Cup first round recap

By Jay Skurski

At the top: University of Virginia sophomore Denny McCarthy, 19, shot a 6-under 64 to lead the 78-player field after the first round in the 54th Porter Cup at Niagara Falls Country Club in Lewiston. A shot behind tied for second are University of Florida senior Trever McCumber and Texas A&M sophomore Tyler Dunlap.

Featured group: Defending champion Patrick Rodgers didn't do anything to hurt his chance of repeating, opening with a round of 3-under 67. Rodgers had back-to-back bogeys on the par-3 16th and par-4 17th, but made a big birdie on the par-3 18th to close the round with some momentum. Justin Thomas, the top-ranked college golfer in the country according to the Golf Week rankings, was cruising along nicely at 3 under before hitting the ball out of bounds on the 16th. He took a double bogey and finished the round 1 under, the same score as the third member of the threesome, 18-year-old Matt NeSmith.

My bad: Scott Harvey, a 34-year-old Mid-Amateur from Greensboro, N.C., shot a 2-under 68, but it could have been better. Harvey was assessed a two-stroke penalty for playing the wrong ball on the par-4 10th hole. The ball Harvey hit was a Titleist 2, like he was playing it, but after he hit it, he found his ball and saw its distinctive mark, meaning he played the wrong one.

Gotta go: The oldest player in the field, 49-year-old Mike McCoy, recorded a nice 4-under 66 as part of the third group off the tee. The reason for the early tee time? McCoy, who works in the insurance industry, had to get to a business meeting in Toronto. He talked with this reporter while waiting in line on the bridge to Canada.

Locals report: Niagara Falls Country Club club champion Mike Boss was the low Western New Yorker with a 3-over round of 73. Buffalo's Chris Covelli and Clarence's Matt Stasiak both shot rounds of 4-over 74, tied for 70th, while North Tonawanda's James Blackwell and Hamburg's Brian Jurkiewicz carded 5-over 75s, in a tie for 75th.

Quotable: "You’re dealing with a lot as a Mid-Am. You’re married, you have a family, you’re working. You feel like you should just get a medal for being here for five days in a row," 33-year-old Nathan Smith, on how tough it is for the older players to compete against college-age opponents.

Follow me on Twitter, @JaySkurski, for updates from Round Two on Thursday.

Wegmans LPGA final round recap

The winner is: Shanshan Feng. The 22-year-old from Guangzhou, China becomes her country’s first winner on the LPGA Tour. She moves up to fifth in the world rankings and collects the $375,000 first-place prize out of a total purse of $2.5 million. Feng shot the low round of the tournament, 5-under 67, in the final round for a total of 6-under 282 and a two-shot victory over a group of four players (Mika Miyazato, Stacy Lewis, Suzann Pettersen and Eun-Hee Ji) at 4-under.

Marquee pairing: The biggest gallery of the day followed Americans Paula Creamer and Cristie Kerr, but neither were ever able to make much of a charge. Creamer was betrayed by her putter on the weekend, needing 65 strokes on the greens over the final two rounds. She finished at 2-under in a tie for ninth, while Kerr was a shot behind a 1-under in a tie for 12th.

Easiest hole: The par-5 17th, which played to a stroke average of 4.858 for the tournament and had 30 birdies Sunday.

Toughest hole: The next one, the par-4 18th. That had a tournament stroke average of 4.442 and saw just three birdies made at it Sunday.

Quotable: “Shanshan went out there and shot a great round. That’s the way we want it to be. You don’t want this golf tournament to end with somebody making bogey on the last hole to lose it. She went out and won it today, so congratulations to her” – world No. 3 and top-ranked American Stacy Lewis

Up next: The LPGA Tour takes a break while the men’s U.S. Open is held next weekend. The ladies return June 21-24 for the Manulife Financial LPGA Classic in Waterloo, Ontario.

---Jay Skurski

Tseng finishes forgettable week

PITTSFORD -- Yani Tseng's title defense at the Wegmans LPGA Championship did not go as planned.

Not even close.

The world's No. 1 player was finishing her round as the leaders were starting today at Locust Hill Country Club, a much different position than the one she found herself in last year, when she dominated the field for a 10-shot victory.

She finished at 19 under in 2011, an astounding 32 shots better than the 13 over she shot this year. Tseng concluded a miserable week with a 4-over 76 today.

"It's hard to get your confidence back when you lose it," she told the Golf Channel after her round. "My confidence is at zero right now."

---Jay Skurski

Leaders off at Wegmans LPGA Championship

PITTSFORD -- The final round promises plenty of drama today at the Wegmans LPGA Championship.

The final groups are now out on the course, and already there have been some changes on the leader board. Australian Karrie Webb, who started the day a shot off the lead, birdied the par-4 second hole to briefly sit in a three-way tie for the top spot, but Webb followed by three-putting the third green for a bogey and is in third place at 3 under.

The lead is shared by Eun-Hee Ji and Suzann Pettersen, who has started 2 under through four holes.

A group of six players -- including Americans Paula Creamer and Stacy Lewis -- are just two shots behind on a sun-baked day at Locust Hill Country Club.

Myself, Bob DiCesare and Mark Gaughan will have updates throughout the day.

---Jay Skurski

Creamer among three atop leader board

PITTSFORD -- Paula Creamer just made the turn here at Locust Hill Country Club at 3 under, sharing the lead in the third round of the Wegmans LPGA Championship with Eun-Hee Ji and Na Yeon Choi.

Things remain tight, though, as 13 players are under par. Lurking in the group at even par is Australian Karrie Webb.

Television coverage of the event, by the way, will air from 2 to 7 p.m. on Golf Channel on a tape delay basis because of the early tee times.

---Jay Skurski

Third round of Wegmans LPGA underway

PITTSFORD -- Mother Nature has been the major player so far this morning at the Wegmans LPGA Championship. Steady rain in suburban Rochester forced a delay of two hours, 21 minutes during the third round.

Groups of three were to tee off the first and 10th holes at 7 a.m. in an effort to get the round in before some more expected bad weather hit. The rain forced a delay after just eight minutes, however, and play did not resume until 9:29 a.m.

Leader Se Ri Pak is scheduled to tee off at 11:20 a.m. It's going to be a long day by the looks of it. The forecast calls for an 80 percent chance of rain, with showers and thunderstorms "likely."

We'll have updates throughout the day on the blog from myself, Bob DiCesare and Mark Gaughan

---Jay Skurski


LPGA adjusts Saturday tee times

The LPGA just handed out a statement regarding tee times Saturday at the Wegmans LPGA Championship.

Due to the threat of inclement weather, those who make the cut will tee off in groups of three on tees 1 and 10 from 7 a.m. through 9 a.m.

-- Aaron Mansfield

Wegmans LPGA Championship Round One recap

At the top:The lead is shared by three: American Ryann O'Toole, Spaniard Beatriz Recari and Italian Giulia Sergas. They are at 3-under 69. It's tightly contested, though, as 25 players are within three shots.

Yani watch:It was a struggle for world No. 1 Yani Tseng, who tied the highest round of her season after shooting 4-over 76. Golf Channel cameras showed Tseng getting her arm looked at on the range before the round, but she insisted that it had nothing to do with the round. Still, she hit just 6 of 14 fairways and was never a factor.

The Big Break:Michelle Wie's plan to use 3-wood off at least nine tees was shot when she broke the club warming up on the range. Wie played without it, shooting 2-over 74. "Not bad for 13 clubs" she said after coming off the course.

Tweet it: The LPGA Tour is doing all it can to promote its players on social media. The latest step? All of the caddies are sporting their players' Twitter handles underneath their names on the back of their vests.

Shot of the day: O'Toole holed a 90-foot putt -- 90! -- on the 13th hole (her fourth of the day) for a birdie. "I think that's the best one yet," she said when asked how many 90-footers she had holed.

Quotable: "Yes, I had a good start. Nothing wrong with trying to run away with it either, though, you know what I mean," Cristie Kerr, when asked whether she felt like 2-under 70 was a particularly good start given how bunched the scores are.

---Jay Skurski

Leader board tightly contested at Wegmans LPGA

PITTSFORD -- Beatriz Recari's 3-under score of 69 is standing up so far in the first round of the Wegmans LPGA Championship at Locust Hill Country Club.

American Ryann O'Toole has matched Recari at 3-under. She was part of the last group off this afternoon and is through 11 holes.

A group of nine players is just one shot back. It's shaping up to be a drastically different tournament from the past two years, when the final round was a coronation for the winner (Cristie Kerr in 2010 by 12 strokes, Yani Tseng by 10 strokes last year).

Kerr is a part of that group at 2-under after an opening round of 70.

"I don't think there is going to be any 18- or 19-unders," Kerr said. "The rough is measurably worse than the year I won. It's just a lot thicker."

---Jay Skurski

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Budd Bailey

Budd Bailey

Budd Bailey has served in a variety of roles in Buffalo sports in the past 35 years, including reporter, talk-show host, baseball announcer, public relations staffer and author. He covers the Bandits and running for The News when not working as an editor.