Bradley records 4 birdies for Tour Championship lead

Posted Sept. 22, 2011, at 9:34 p.m.

ATLANTA — Keegan Bradley, who won the PGA Championship last month in a playoff, had four birdies on the back nine Thursday for a 6-under 64 to build a two-shot lead in the Tour Championship.

Among the three players tied for second was Jason Duffner, who lost to Bradley in the playoff at the Atlanta Athletic Club, about 40 minutes from East Lake, where they are playing this week.

Chez Reavie and Luke Donald, the No. 1 player in the world and one of five players in prime position to win the $10 million FedEx Cup bonus, were also at 66.

The conditions at East Lake were relatively tame until the final hour, when sprinkles turned to rain and even halted play with the final two groups not finished.

Charles Howell III was at 67 along with Adam Scott, Hunter Mahan, Jason Day and Matt Kuchar.

The group at 68 included Aaron Baddeley, Bill Haas, Brandt Snedeker and Phil Mickelson. Webb Simpson, No. 1 in the FedEx Cup, bogeyed the last hole for a 69.

European Tour

ATZENBRUGG, Austria — Liam Bond of Wales shot a 6-under 66 to lead after the first round of the Austrian Open.

Bond had four birdies on the last five holes and seven total at Diamond Country Club for a one-shot lead over Thomas Norret, Daniel Gaunt and Joost Luiten.

The 193rd-ranked Bond missed the cut in his previous five events and needs a strong finish to the season to retain his tour card.

Miguel Angel Jimenez shot a 73 and John Daly a 74. Three-time major champion Padraig Harrington was 2 under after seven holes but had four bogeys and a double bogey on his final nine holes to finish at 75.

US Mid-Amateur

RICHMOND, Texas — Randal Lewis became the oldest winner of the U.S. Mid-Amateur championship, defeating Kenny Cook 3 and 2 in the final match.

Lewis, 54, a financial planner from Alma, Mich., earns an automatic bid to the 2012 Masters by capturing the national championship for amateurs 25 years and older.

Lewis won the first two holes and never trailed in the 36-hole final at Shadow Hawk. Cook, 31, an accountant from Noblesville, Ind., made birdies on Nos. 13 and 14 in the morning to square the match. Lewis then made a birdie on 16 and never looked back.

Lewis defeated two-time defending champion Nathan Smith in Wednesday’s semifinals.

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