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Sarah Jane Smith Leads U.S. Women’s Open at 10 under

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Thunderstorms may have been an annoyance at the U.S. Women’s Open, but it didn’t stop Sarah Jane Smith, who extended her lead to four strokes after a second straight 5-under 67 on Friday.

Storms brought in a 2-hour, 49-minute delay, but Smith got in her round just in time.

Smith, who is at 10-under 134, enters the weekend leading a major championship, the first time she has done so, and has 36 holes down. Half of the field didn’t finish the round.

“I haven’t been in the position before, but I hope to show up like it’s another day,” Smith said (h/t ESPN). “I’m happy with the way I’m playing. I feel comfortable on the greens, which has been something that has been a little bit off lately. So, it’s nice to be able to feel like I’m seeing the greens really well and seeing some putts go in. Hopefully, that keeps going.”

Smith opened the day in a three-way tie atop the leaderboard with Jutanugarn and Korean Jeongeun6 Lee.

“She’s playing so good,” Duane Smith, Sarah’s husband and caddie, said. “Maybe years ago when she won the last event on the Futures Tour to get a card at the end of 2008. She had to win to get her card and she did and she opened up that nine holes, I think, 7-under on the front nine and then led the whole way. She played great that whole week, but this is something totally different.”

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Francesco Molinari Wins The Open

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Francesco Molinari has won The Open for his 1st career major championship and becomes the first Italian golfer to ever win a major championship.

Molinari holed a 5-foot birdie putt at No. 18 to complete a bogey-free round at 2-under-par 69, and finished with an overall score of 8-under par, two shots ahead of Justin Rose, Rory McIlroy, Kevin Kisner and Xander Schauffele.

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Tiger Woods Likely To Make Cut

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Tiger Woods is likely to make the cut after a second straight 71 gave him consecutive scores of par or better to open a major championship for the first time in five years.

Woods is currently outside of the top 25 and was six strokes back of the clubhouse lead when he finished.

“Most of the good scores yesterday were in the morning, and they had no wind ,and they have very little wind this afternoon with a softer golf course,” Woods said (h/t ESPN). “But we certainly had a chance to get the ball down a little bit further and control it on the ground a little bit better.

“The ball wasn’t rolling 80, 90 yards like it was yesterday. It was a little bit easier in that regard.”

Woods played in the toughest conditions yet, but says that the rain actually helped soften the course a bit and helped the greens.

“I played a little bit yesterday,” Woods said. “Today wasn’t quite as good, but I finally birdied a par-5 (a two-putt at the par-5 16th), so that’s a positive.”

Despite his likelihood to make the cut, Woods knows he needs to clean up his game if he wants to make progress on the leaderboard.

“I could have cleaned up the round a little bit,” he said. “And I did not get off to exactly the best start, being 2 over through three.”

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Jordan Spieth Blames ‘Brain Fart’ For Falling Back

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Jordan Spieth is blaming a “brain fart” for his nightmare first round finish at The Open, also citing reverting back to the type of golf he is working to move away from.

Spieth, who carded a 72, is confident that be improving his execution, he can successfully defend his title.

“I felt like I was really going well,” Spieth said (h/t ESPN). “I had a nice par save after driving it in the bunker at 6. Other than that, it was very stress-free. I was putting the ball where I needed to, having maybe no more than four feet for par on every hole. It was just a clean round of golf. I’ve done a bit of that this year, just the decision making that’s cost me.

“But the misses toward the end were the exact misses that I’ve been having and I’m working away from. My swing just didn’t quite hold up to the end of my round. Those long irons really hurt me today.”

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