Golf • U.S. captain's familiarity with Sea Island breeds success.
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St. Simons Island, Ga. • Davis Love III might have found the perfect tonic for any Ryder Cup hangover playing golf, and playing well on a Sea Island course he knows better than anyone.
In his third straight tournament since his U.S. team lost a big lead on the final day at Medinah, Love hit a 6-iron to 3 feet on the 17th hole that put him in the final group going into the weekend at the McGladrey Classic, where he is becoming more than just a tournament host.
Love was one shot behind Arjun Atwal, who is running out of time to keep his PGA Tour card. Atwal made an adjustment in his putting stroke earlier in the week and watched it pay off in a big way at Sea Island for a 63, his best score of the year.
Atwal, whose two-year exemption from winning in Greensboro, N.C., expires this year, is No. 175 on the money list and has only two tournaments left to finish in the top 125. He opened with three straight birdies and took the outright lead with a wedge into 5 feet on the fifth hole, his 14th of the round.
"I'm in a desperate situation," Atwal said. "I got no choice either win or finish in the top two. So I've just got to grind it out."
Atwal was at 10-under 130, though this tournament has a distinct Ryder Cup feel going into the final two days. It starts with Love, the American captain, who moved to Sea Island when he was 14.
Suzann Pettersen shot a course-record 9-under 63 Friday to take a one-stroke lead after the first round of the LPGA's HanaBank Championship in Incheon, South Korea.
The Norwegian finished a shot clear of Sweden's Karin Sjodin at the Ocean Course in Incheon, with five players tied for third, two shots back.
Japan's Ai Miyazato, Spain's Azahara Munoz and the South Korean trio of So Yeon Ryu, Moon Hyun-Hee and Kim Ha-Neul all shot 66.
In perfect conditions at the course 25 miles west of Seoul, Pettersen sank five birdies in the first six holes.
Arjun Atwal -10
Davis Love III -9
Jim Furyk -9
Failed to qualify
Daniel Summerhays +3
Dean Wilson +6