Golf • He's poised for win at event that was off his schedule.
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Hilton Head Island, S.C. • Charley Hoffman thought he was through with Harbour Town Golf Links and the RBC Heritage. Turns out, he just wasn't ready as a younger player to handle one of the PGA Tour's trickiest layouts.
Hoffman missed the cut his first time here in 2006, then didn't do much better the next visit, going 72-80 on the weekend in 2009, and took it off his schedule for good. But Hoffman has found a new appreciation and success at Harbour Town that has him 18 holes away from his third career tour victory.
Hoffman had four birdies his first five holes Saturday to shoot 5-under 66 and take a two-stroke lead at 11 under over U.S. Open champion Webb Simpson.
"I would say I wasn't mature enough to play this golf course," Hoffman said Saturday. "I didn't understand how to play it. I guess I would get frustrated when I hit the fairway and didn't have a shot at the green."
The 36-year-old Hoffman opened play with a 66 Thursday, moved into a three-way tie for the top Friday and took control with his hot start in the third round.
Suzann Pettersen won the LPGA Lotte Championship at Kapolei, Hawaii, beating Lizette Salas with a par on the first hole of a playoff after Salas chunked her approach shot into the water.
Pettersen, the leader after the second and third rounds at Ko Olina, bogeyed the final hole of regulation to set up the playoff on the par-4 18th. The 32-year-old Norwegian closed with a 5-under 67, and Salas had a tournament-record 62 to finish at 19-under 269.
Salas had a double bogey on the playoff hole.
Esteban Toledo took a one-stroke lead in the Champions Tour's Greater Gwinnett Championship in Duluth, Ga., completing a first-round 68 in the morning and adding a 2-under 70 in the second round.
Charley Hoffman -11
Webb Simpson -9
Kevin Streelman -8
Brendon de Jonge -7
Graeme McDowell -7