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Created: 03/03/2015 11:22 AM WNYT.com
By: By The Associated Press

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. (AP) — Ian Poulter lost command of the Honda Classic with two swings on consecutive tee shots in a wild final hour Sunday. He still had a share of the lead with Paul Casey heading into a sprint-to-the-finish at soggy PGA National.

Poulter was practically flawless in the rain-delayed third round Sunday morning for a 4-under 66 that gave him a three-shot lead over Patrick Reed and Padraig Harrington.

The third round was washed out Saturday because of nearly 5 inches of rain that toppled a few trees, flooded bunkers and even created mounds of air bubbles on one green. After the third round ended Sunday, the players went right back out to play as many holes of the final round as the sun would allow.

Poulter kept his distance until a shank on the par-3 fifth hole, which has water guarding the left side of the green. His ball went so far right that it found water on the sixth hole, leading to double bogey. On his next tee shot, Poulter pulled it into the water and had to two-putt from 65 feet to escape with bogey. Just like that, his lead was gone. He got it back on the par-3 seventh with a tee shot into 3 feet for birdie, just as Casey was polishing off a 31 on the front nine to join him at 7-under par.

Play was suspended by darkness with Poulter on the eighth tee and Casey in the left rough on No. 10.

Not to be forgotten was Reed.

He was the first to catch Poulter with a three-shot swing on the fifth hole. Reed holed a 35-foot birdie putt from a valley to the right of the fifth green, and he had the outright lead when Poulter made his bogey on No. 6. But on the seventh, as Poulter was making his birdie, Reed took bogey from the left rough to fall one shot behind.

NEW ZEALAND WOMEN'S OPEN

CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand (AP) — Top-ranked Lydia Ko won the New Zealand Women's Open for her second straight victory.

The 17-year-old New Zealander, the Women's Australian Open winner last week for her sixth LPGA Tour title, closed with a 1-under 70 at Clearwater for a four-stroke victory. She has 10 worldwide victories in professional events, also winning at Clearwater as an amateur in 2013.

On Saturday, Ko broke the course record with a career-best 61 to take a three-stroke lead into the final round. She had five birdies, a double bogey and two bogeys Sunday to finish at 14-under 202.

Australian amateur Hannah Green was second after a 68.

The tournament was sanctioned by the European and Australian tours.

HONDA LPGA THAILAND

CHONBURI, Thailand (AP) — South Korea's Amy Yang won the Honda LPGA Thailand for her second LPGA Tour title, finishing with a 3-under 69 for a two-stroke victory over American Stacy Lewis and two others.

Yang broke a tie with Lewis with a three-stroke swing on the par-4 15th. Yang made a short birdie putt on the hole, and Lewis had a double bogey after blasting a 67-yard wedge shot over the green. Yang bogeyed No. 16 and closed with two pars to finish at 15-under 273 on Siam Country Club's Pattaya Old Course.

Yang also won the 2013 LPGA KEB HanaBank Championship in South Korea.

Yang has finished in the top five in her last tour starts. She was second last week in the Women's Australian Open, two strokes behind top-ranked Lydia Ko.

Lewis, the third-round leader, finished with a 72 to match Taiwan's Yani Tseng and South Korea's Mirim Lee at 13 under. Tseng, the 2011 and 2012 winner, had a 67, and Lee shot 69.

JOBURG OPEN

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — England's Andy Sullivan won his second European Tour title in South Africa in just over a month, closing with a 6-under 66 for two-shot victory in the Joburg Open.

The South African Open winner in Johannesburg in January, Sullivan finished at 17-under 270 at Royal Johannesburg and Kensington. Third-round leader Wallie Coetsee tied for second with fellow South African player Jaco van Zyl, Ireland's Kevin Phelan and England's Anthony Wall and David Howell. Coetsee finished with a 71.

(Copyright 2015 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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