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  • Leader builds margin
    Zac Blair topped the Tour Championship leader board at 13 under Friday when second-round play was suspended because of darkness. Blair was 5 under with three holes left in the round that was delayed because of rain.
  • R&A votes to admit women as members
    The Royal and Ancient Golf Club at St. Andrews is no longer just for men.
  • Course record tied at
    Zac Blair matched the course record with a 7-under 63 on Thursday to take the lead in the Tour Championship, the final event in the four-tournament Tour Finals.

Hotel Fitness notebook: Normal approach

Carlos Ortiz has already secured a PGA Tour card for next season – he’s first on the Tour with three victories, eight top-25 finishes in 16 tournaments and $515,403 in winnings – but he’s still out for more success at the Hotel Fitness Championship.

“It’s better when you approach it like any other tournament,” said Ruiz, 23, who is from Mexico. “You do what you normally do. It’s been working for me all year and I’m not going to change anything.

Twenty five tour cards have already been determined and another 25 will be awarded through the Tour Finals, which has four tournaments starting with the one at Jack Nicklaus-designed Sycamore Hills Golf Club.

The championship runs today through Sunday.

The other big guns from the Tour here include Andrew Putnam ($320,438), Zach Sucher ($294,166) and Adam Hadwin ($293,667), while there are three major champions from the PGA Tour – defending-champion Trevor Immelman, Ben Curtis and Y.E. Yang.

“It might be a different field, maybe stronger, but I’m going to keep doing what I’ve been doing,” Ortiz said. “I feel very confident and I feel I have a good chance of winning this year.”

The Hotel Fitness Championship, which is in its second year, is open to players ranked in the top 75 on the Tour and Nos. 126 to 200 in the PGA Tour’s FedExCup rankings.

Avon's Rodgers withdraws

Patrick Rodgers, who is from Avon, withdrew Wednesday from the Hotel Fitness Championship. Just out of Stanford, Rodgers had played in seven PGA Tour events this year, making the cut in five and winning $75,104. He strained an oblique muscle at the Wyndham Championship earlier in the month. He could return for the second round of the Tour Finals next week in Davidson, North Carolina.

Change in plans

There was a change made to the Tour Finals this year. Now, the top 25 players, who have already earned PGA Tour cards, carry their money into the finals and are still competing for improved tour status next season. The person who finishes with the most money will also get an exemption into The Players Championship.

Course on course

After the gates were closed Tuesday because of the rainfall on the course, they were open Wednesday for the Pro-Am that benefited the Evans Scholars and the Mad Anthonys Children’s Hope House.

As for the course itself, the players said it has held up well after all the rain. Among the renovations made at Sycamore Hills since last year was the insertion of a state-of-the-art drainage system in the bunkers.

“It’s in great condition,” Ortiz said. “They said it rained a little bit last week, but it seems to be just perfect.”