Defending champ Laird takes Las Vegas lead

LAS VEGAS — Martin Laird has put together two great rounds at TPC Summerlin, following a second-round 62 with a 63. Now the Scot's trying to follow his breakthrough victory with a successful title defense.

Laird eagled the 310-yard, par-4 15th — driving the green and holing an 8-foot putt — and closed with three pars to take a one-stroke lead over Jonathan Byrd on Saturday in the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospital for Children Open.

"I really left myself the easiest putt on the green," Laird said. "It was a right edge, up the hill putt. That's the one most of us would want if we had 6 feet for eagle."

Last year, Laird won the event for his first PGA Tour title, beating George McNeill with a birdie on the third hole of a playoff. Chad Campbell was eliminated on the second extra hole.

"It's completely different because last year it was probably the best chance I've had to date to win a tournament and I was 134th or something on the money list," said Laird, 43rd on the money list this season. "So there was a lot more pressure on me last year than this year. It's definitely a little more relaxed week than last year, knowing that I've had a good year so far, and I don't have to worry about playing to keep my card."

Laird, a playoff loser to Matt Kuchar in The Barclays this year, had a 19-under 194 total on the rain-softened course in the fourth of five Fall Series events.

Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia

At Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Sweden's Maria Hjorth shot her second straight 3-under 68 in steamy conditions for a share of the lead with South Korea's Jee Young Lee in the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia.

Lee followed her opening 66 with a 70 to match Hjorth at 6-under on the short Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club course in the event that was delayed again because of lightning, this time for 2 hours, 28 minutes.

Administaff Small Business

At The Woodlands, Texas, U.S. Ryder Cup captain Corey Pavin shot a 4-under 68 to maintain a one-stroke lead in the Champions Tour's Administaff Small Business Classic.

Pavin had a 10-under 134 total on The Woodlands Country Club course.

Mark Wiebe (68) was second, and former University of Houston star Fred Couples (65) was 8 under. Couples had eight birdies and one bogey in his tournament-best round.

Castello Masters

At Castellon, Spain, England's Gary Boyd matched the Club de Campo del Mediterraneo record with 9-under 63 to take a two-stroke lead in the Castello Masters.

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