Sports Griffin leads Houston Open after strong third round
Champ takes convincing Safeway Open lead
American Cameron Champ carded an error-free 67 to take a three-shot lead into the final day of the Safeway Open in California. Safeway Open: Latest scoresChamp has played consistently in Napa, with his round of five under par following scorecards of 67 and 68 on the opening two days.A trio of birdies on the back nine lifted the 24-year-old to 14 under, clear of a chasing pack including Canadians Nick Taylor and Adam Hadwin, and Colombian Sebastian Munoz.Both Munoz and Hadwin improved 13 places after matching Champ's round of 67, while Taylor dropped shots on the 15th and 16th for a 70.
HUMBLE, Texas — Lanto Griffin recovered from a rain-delayed double-bogey finish to his second round earlier Saturday to post a 7-under-65 — the day's best score — and secure a single-stroke lead through 54 holes of the Houston Open.
Mark Hubbard is alone in second place at 10-under par after shooting a 69. The 36-hole leader, Peter Malnati, is one of three players two shots back. Malnati shot a 73, including bogeys on two of his first three holes and two of his last three.
Both Griffin and Hubbard are seeking their first PGA Tour titles as are Beau Hossler and Brandon Wu. Hossler fashioned a 68 and Wu a 69 to join Malnati at 9-under.
Harden dazzles, then Raptors rally past Rockets in Japan
When James Harden's night was over, defence got easier for the Toronto Raptors. Pascal Siakam scored 24 points and grabbed 11 rebounds and the Raptors — in their first game since winning the NBA Finals — rallied from a 17-point deficit to beat the Houston Rockets 134-129 in Tokyo on Tuesday to open the NBA Japan Games. The exhibition game at the Saitama Super Arena, a site for basketball at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, was the NBA's first in JapanPascal Siakam scored 24 points and grabbed 11 rebounds and the Raptors — in their first game since winning the NBA Finals — rallied from a 17-point deficit to beat the Houston Rockets 134-129 in Tokyo on Tuesday to open the NBA Japan Games.
Six players are tied at -8, including first-round co-leaders Austin Cook and Talor Gooch.
Mackenzie Hughes (74) of Dundas, Ont., is tied for 29th at 3 under. Michael Gligic (74) of Burlington, Ont., is tied for 54th at even par and Graham DeLaet (77) of Weyburn, Sask., is tied for 75th at 5 over.
The winner will receive $1.135 million. Griffin's earnings over 32 previous Tour starts — two back in 2011, 26 more in 2018, when he missed 13 cuts, and four this season — total $837,333. He has never led a Tour event through three rounds. However, he has played consistently well this fall and is the only player with four top-20 finishes.
Griffin, who shot 66 on Thursday before stalling to a second-round 74, said of the double-bogey finish on Saturday: "It was just cold and windy this morning and (the hole) played tough. I was frustrated and kind of (angry), but I turned it into a positive. It freed me up pretty good.
Astros thump Rays in Game 5, advance to 3rd straight ALCS
Astros thump Rays in Game 5, advance to 3rd straight ALCSThe Astros advanced to their third consecutive American League Championship Series with a decisive 6-1 win over the Rays in Game 5 of the division series at Minute Maid Park on Thursday.
"My game the best it's ever been for sure. I'm playing really smart and my short game has improved a ton. That's always been my Achilles heel."
Griffin recalled a conversation he had with Greg Norman recently at a pro-am dinner "that really stuck in the back of my mind. He made the comment that he doesn't look at the guys that are winning and missing three cuts. He looks at the guys that are finishing 10th, 15th, 20th consistently. It's been a goal of mine this year. You don't have to be a hero necessarily to have a good, solid week."
The highest-ranked player in the field when the tournament began, Sweden's Henrik Stenson at 37th, failed to make the even-par cut. Only two of the top 11 players on the leaderboard, Malnati and Austin Cook, have even one Tour title.
Canada's Milos Raonic loses to Korea's Hyeon Chung in return from injury .
VIENNA — Milos Raonic's first tour match in more than two months didn't end in desired fashion for the Canadian. The 28-year-old from Thornhill, Ont., lost 6-4, 7-5 to Hyeon Chung of Korea in the first round of the Erste Bank Open on Tuesday. Raonic was playing a tour match for the first time since retiring from the Rogers Cup in Montreal with a back injury on Aug. 7, though he did go on court for two matches at the Laver Cup team event last month in Switzerland.The back injury was the latest setback for the former world No. 3, who has struggled to stay healthy for long stretches in recent years.
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