News for Thursday, September 12, 2013

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5 Things: Snedeker shines; Westwood, McIlroy falter

Brandt Snedeker looking to become first player to successfully defend Fed Ex Cup title after opening 63; Scott Piercy, Lee Westwood and Rory McIlroy implode in first round at BMW Championship.

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Mickelson gets going late at BMW, fires 70

After not arriving until late Wednesday night after dealing with a personal matter at home, Phil Mickelson started sluggishly Thursday at the BMW Championship but managed to grind out a 1-under 70 with a solid final nine holes.

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How it Happened: Snedeker's 63 leads BMW

Tiger Woods is now chasing Henrik Stenson for the top spot in the FedEx Cup standings, and will play alongside the Swede as they tee it up in the BMW Championship at Conway Farms.

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Alfredsson calls it a career this week in France

It’s fitting for the 48-year-old beauty to hang it up near the French Alps, for she’s a three-time winner of the Evian. Last week, Helen Alfredsson said goodbye to a home crowd at the Helsingborg Open in Sweden.

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Pro Links' 11th-hour deal saved Tampa Tour stop

Pro Links Sports orchestrated an 11th-hour deal that paired sponsor Valspar Corp. with PGA Tour's Tampa event, keeping the tournament at Innisbrook Resort on the schedule.

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Tiger sees room to improve on opening 66 at BMW

It’s hard for Tiger Woods to say of his first round, “I didn’t get anything out of it.” After all, Woods was tied for third when he walked off with a 66. But he certainly wasted shots in finishing three back of the lead.

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'Bama standout Thomas signs with Excel Management

Justin Thomas, the 2012 College Player of the Year, has signed with Excel Sports Management. Thomas announced earlier this summer that he would not return to Alabama for his junior season. The Crimson Tide won the NCAA Championship last spring.

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Golfweek's top 10: Women individuals, freshmen

From Annie Park to Stephanie Meadow, to top freshmen Alison Lee and Casie Cathrea, we take a look at the top individuals heading into the 2013-14 season.

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After postseason sweep, Park wants to keep growing

Annie Park sure seems a lot taller than 5 feet, 9 inches. Maybe it’s because the USC sophomore’s game is larger than college golf.

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Texas A&M takes in Long Island to start the season

It’s not every day that you get to travel to Long Island, N.Y., and take in some of the best golf courses in the world, but that's what Texas A&M did before its season opener against Yale at The Bridge on Sept. 7.

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UNCW launches fundraiser for alumnus' daughter

North Carolina-Wilmington is putting an even bigger emphasis on birdies this season. The Seahawks have launched a fundraiser called “Birdies for Kaitlyn” in honor of Derek Brown, a UNCW standout in 2001-04.

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SCORES: BMW Championship, Round 4

Follow the BMW Championship leaderboard from Conway Farms in Lake Forest, Ill.