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Furyk Rallies to Grab a One-Shot Lead in Illinois

Oracle Team USA heads for the finish line to win the eighth race of the America's Cup sailing event against Emirates Team New Zealand Saturday, Sept. 14, 2013, in San Francisco. Oracle Team USA won the eighth race and the ninth race was called because of high wind Saturday. In the background is the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

Oracle Team USA heads for the finish line to win the eighth race of the America's Cup sailing event against Emirates Team New Zealand Saturday, Sept. 14, 2013, in San Francisco. Oracle Team USA won the eighth race and the ninth race was called because of high wind Saturday. In the background is the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

Lake Forest, Ill. — Jim Furyk recovered from a sluggish start with three birdies in a five-hole stretch around the turn Saturday in the third round of the BMW Championship.

A three-putt bogey from 30 feet on the par-5 18th forced him to settle for a 2-under 69 and a one-shot lead over Steve Stricker.

It was a far different finish from Friday, when Furyk hit a wedge to 3 feet for birdie on his final hole (No. 9) for a 12-under 59, becoming only the sixth player in PGA Tour history to hit golf’s magic number.

No one expected another round like that from him — though Matt Kuchar had a 61 in the morning when conditions were calm — with firm fairways, fast greens and increasing wind. Furyk did enough to give himself another chance to end three years without a victory.

But his work is far from over.

He was at 13-under 200 and will be paired in the final group with longtime friend Stricker, who holed out for eagle from the 15th fairway and had a 64.

Brandt Snedeker, tied with Furyk to start the third round, got up-and-down from behind the 18th green for birdie to get back to even-par 71 for the day and remain in the hunt just two shots behind.

And very much in the picture was Tiger Woods, who was four shots back. Keegan Bradley shot a 70 and is 11 strokes back.

LPGA Tour

Evian-Les-Bains, France — With teen amateur Lydia Ko of New Zealand in pursuit, Mika Miyazato of Japan held a one-stroke lead after two rounds at the Evian Championship.

Miyazato shot a 2-under 69 and was at 8 under with a round to go in the fifth and last women’s major of the year. The four-round tournament was cut to 54 holes after rain left the greens soggy. The course dried out somewhat but more showers are forecast for Sunday’s final round.

Ko, who is only 16 yet plays with great composure, had four birdies in an error-free 67. Her only problem seemed to be her glasses, which did not cooperate in the damp weather.

Miyazato, whose day started with bogeys on the first two holes, is looking for her first U.S. LPGA title this year. Suzann Pettersen of Norway bogeyed her two holes on the back nine but had four birdies — as did Miyazato — for a 69 to share second with Ko.

NFL Football

Jets QB Placed
On Short-Term IR

New York — Mark Sanchez was placed on short-term injured reserve Saturday, meaning the Jets quarterback will not be able to play for the next eight weeks while he recovers from an injured right shoulder.

Sanchez injured his right shoulder after replacing rookie Geno Smith in the fourth quarter of the team’s third preseason game against the Giants. He has opted to try to rehabilitate the injury rather than have season-ending surgery.

Sanchez acknowledged that surgery is a possibility, but doctors are encouraged by his rehab so far. Some fans and media have suggested that Sanchez should have the surgery immediately, since it seems inevitable that he will need to do so.

Sailing

Kiwis Almost Capsize
In Loss to Oracle

San Francisco — Emirates Team New Zealand nearly capsized in Race 8 of the America’s Cup, allowing defending champion Oracle Team USA to sail away to a 52-second victory Saturday on windy San Francisco Bay.

In the most heart-stopping moment of the regatta, the Kiwis’ 131-foot wing sail didn’t pop to the correct side, apparently because of a lack of pressure in the hydraulic system, as the crew tried to tack on the American boat.

The 72-foot catamaran began to tip over, with its starboard hull rising high into the air. The boat appeared to come within a few degrees of going over before the crew got the wing to pop and the boat splashed down.

Oracle skipper Jimmy Spithill did a great job of executing a crash tack to get clear of the Kiwi boat while it was hanging in the air. Because the American boat was coming in on favored starboard tack, Team New Zealand was penalized. The near-capsize had already done in the Kiwis, and slowing to clear the penalty allowed Oracle to sail well ahead.

It was just the second victory of the series for the American syndicate, which has now erased the two-point penalty it was assessed in the biggest cheating scandal in the 162-year-history of the America’s Cup.

Team New Zealand leads 6-0 and still needs three wins to take the oldest trophy in international sports to the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron. Oracle Team USA, owned by software billionaire Larry Ellison, needs to win nine races to keep the Auld Mug.

Race 9 was abandoned just as the boats turned onto the windward third leg with New Zealand in the lead because the wind had exceeded the 22.6-knot limit during a five-minute period.

Races 9 and 10 are scheduled for today.

With the wind pushing the upper limit, race officials knew it could be a wild day among the whitecaps on the bay.