On chilly day in desert, Rose doesn’t wilt

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THOUSAND PALMS, Calif. – Justin Rose refused to let a cold, windy day in the desert cool off his game, shooting a 6-under 66 on Friday to take a two-stroke lead through three rounds of the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic.

Rose, who grew up in England, went to 18-under 198 during a round when the weather in the usually warm resort area resembled a chilly day at the British Open.

Scott Verplank, tied with Rose heading into the third round of the five-day event, shot a 68 to drop to second.

Afternoon temperatures dipped into the low 50s, with swirling wind adding to the chill.

The four courses used for the first four days of the Hope generally yield extremely low scores, but conditions kept scoring more pedestrian during the third round.

Bernhard Langer was a notable exception, with his 9-under 63 vaulting him into a tie for 13th at 10 under. He highlighted his round at Bermuda Dunes with an ace, knocking a 7-iron into the cup on the 170-yard seventh.

The 26-year-old Rose, who was born in Johannesburg and lives in London, had an eagle, five birdies and a bogey at PGA West.

He joined the PGA Tour full-time in 2004, and his best finish in the 96 events he’s played was a tie for second last year in the Texas Open. Rose has won five international tournaments, including last year’s Australian Masters.

Phil Mickelson, the 2002 and 2004 Hope champion, had a 69 at the tournament host Classic Club. He was 7 under with 36 holes remaining in his season debut.

Price shoots 65 to lead at Abu Dhabi

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates – Phillip Price shot a seven-under 65 Friday to lead by one stroke after the second round of the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship.

The Welshman had eight birdies to total 10-under 134. Padraig Harrington (67) is next, with Miguel Angel Jimenez (65), Shiv Kapur (66), Nick O’Hern (68) and Alessandro Tadini (66) a further shot back.

It had been a while since the 345th-ranked Price, who had a birdie on the 18th, led a tournament. In fact, it was 2003.

Overnight leader Philip Archer bogeyed three of his first five holes for a 3-over 78 to total 138. He is joined by 2006 runner-up Henrik Stenson, Retief Goosen and Nick Dougherty, after they all shot 72.

Defending champion Chris DiMarco (70) is five shots off the lead.

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U.S. 10 shots off pace at Women’s World Cup

SUN CITY, South Africa – Paraguay held a four-stroke lead Friday after the first day of the Women’s World Cup of Golf, with the United States 10 shots off the pace.

Pat Hurst shot a 74 and Juli Inkster a 75 as the Americans struggled in the heat on a day when only five players broke par in the 44-player field at Gary Player Country Club.

Paraguay was at 139 behind Celeste Troche’s 3-under-par 69 and Julieta Granada’s 70. South Korea, with Ji Yai Shin shooting 71 and Young Kim 72, was at 143.

Scotland, with Mhairi McKay (69) and Janice Moodie (76), shared third at 145 with Italy’s Giulia Sergas (72) and Veronica Zorzi (73).

The U.S. was at 149 and defending champion Sweden was at 157. The Americans and Denmark (149) could be in the last group that can still challenge for the title by Sunday. New Zealand (146) and Wales and Australia (148) are the other contenders.

Sweden’s Helen Alfredsson shot a 78 and Carin Koch 79 to lose their grip on the title won last year by Annika Sorenstam and Liselotte Neumann.

With a new format – singles opening the tournament instead of concluding it, foursomes on day two and better ball the final day – many countries will have trouble getting back in contention.

“The damage has already been done,” Moodie said, “so we are just pleased to be only a few shots off the pace and in a position to challenge.”

Troche and Granada have played together since they were juniors and hope to capitalize on that in the alternate-shot format of the second day.

“We’ve played this format before about four years ago so we are used to each other,” Granada said.

AP-ES-01-19-07 1236EST

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