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Archive for Sunday, July 23, 2006

Hjertstedt not hampered by rain

Swede in the lead at B.C. Open; Gogel two shots back

July 23, 2006

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— Gabriel Hjertstedt seems to relish the rain.

Bidding to become the third two-time winner of the B.C. Open, Hjertstedt overcame two rain delays Saturday to shoot a 4-under 68 and take a one-shot lead after three rounds.

"I had it going nicely all day," said Hjertstedt, who was at 14-under 202 in his bid to join Joey Sindelar and Brad Faxon as the only two-time winners of the B.C. Open, which is being dropped from the PGA Tour after this year. "I've felt great all week. It's nice to be in the hunt. It's exciting for me."

Hjertstedt, who became the first Swede to win on the PGA Tour when he captured the 1997 B.C. Open, leads Mark Brooks (66), David Branshaw (68), of nearby Oswego, N.Y., and Scott Gump (69). Daisuke Maruyama (71), Larry Mize (67), Matt Gogel (67), and John Rollins (68) were another shot back.

A steady rain and the threat of a thunderstorm forced a 98-minute stoppage of play in the morning. By the time the final threesome of Hjertstedt, Murayama and Gump teed off, the wind had picked up, and there was standing water on several fairways at Turning Stone Resort's 2-year-old Atunyote Golf Club course.

Play was halted again just before noon for another two hours, and Maruyama, a 35-year-old rookie from Japan, continued his early slide when play resumed.

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