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NorCal golfers in action this weekend in FedEx Cup, LPGA, Tour

Kevin Chappell of Clovis, CA, is the last Northern California-based pro still in the hunt for the season-ending FedEx Cup Championship
Kevin Chappell of Clovis, CA, is the last Northern California-based pro still in the hunt for the season-ending FedEx Cup Championship
Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

A sparse three pro golfers from Northern California are in action in the top tiers of the sport over the Labor Day weekend, but those three are representing NCGA territory to good effect.

In the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup race at TPC Boston, Kevin Chappell of Clovis backed up a bit on the second day of the Deutsche Bank Championship, but his 68-73–141 two-day total put him right on the cut line, advancing him to the final rounds. After opening with a 3-under 68 on Friday (the Deutsche Bank plays Friday-Monday because of the Labor Day holiday), Chappell had a shaky second round, posting three birdies against five bogies for a 2-over 73.

The second-round slide dropped Chappell 22 places on the tournament leaderboard, but he gained nine spots in projected position in the overall FedEx Cup race. His current projected position in the 52nd spot will, if he maintains it over the weekend, see him easily to the next round, the BMW Championship at historic Cherry Hills Country Club outside Denver, with the rest of the top 70 players.

In LPGA action this weekend, in the Portland Classic at Columbia Edgewater Country Club, outside Portland, Oregon, the Bay Area’s Juli Inkster and Monterey native Mina Harigae are in the mix going into the final day. Harigae, a fifth-year pro who moved up to the LPGA Tour after one year on the (then) Duramed Futures Tour, opened with a first-round 67, two strokes back of first-round leader I.K. Kim of South Korea.

Subsequent rounds of 69 and 72 have dropped Harigae back to T12, but her 54-hole total of 208 is only three strokes back of the three co-leaders. A rough day on the greens today was the main cause of her backslide to even par after two sub-par rounds, as she took 31 putts in Saturday’s round, compared to 26 and 27 for Thursday and Friday, respectively.

Juli Inkster, the Hall of Famer and seven-time major champion who calls Los Altos home, put up rounds of 68-70-72 for a 54-hole total of 210, six under par, and is currently T17 and five strokes behind the leaders.

In developmental tour action, at the Tour’s Hotel Fitness Championship at Sycamore Hills Golf Club in Fort Wayne, Indiana, Sacramento’s Spencer Levin and former Cal standout Max Homa, of Valencia, California, made it into weekend play at two and one strokes under the cut line, respectively. Both are well down the leaderboard going into Sunday’s final round, Levin at T56 and Homa at T70, but a made cut is a paycheck, and every little bit counts.

Homa could be excused for relaxing just a bit this weekend, because last week he became one of the Tour’s First 25—the 25 players who have earned rookie status on the PGA Tour for the 2014-2015 season. Bay Area golf fans will be able to see Homa in action in October at the Open at the Silverado Resort & Spa in Napa, returning to the tournament where he made his PGA Tour debut in 2013, playing on a sponsor’s exemption. The 2013 Cal grad made an auspicious debut last year, opening his professional career with a Top 10 finish (T9) on the testing Robert Trent Jones Jr course at CordeValle Resort in San Martin.

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