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Golf plus: Local success

Home-schooled Bradenton 13-year-old Ginger Howard captured the Girls 13-18 Division of last week's Laura Diaz/Future Collegians World Tour event at the Valley Course at TPC at Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach.

Howard, who trains with the David Leadbetter Golf Academy, shot rounds of 76-73 for a 149 total and a one-stroke margin over Catherine O'Donnell of Ponte Vedra. It was the first FCWT title for Howard, who trailed O'Donnell by three entering the second round. Howard made five birdies in her two rounds.

Howard's sister, 12-year-old left-handed DLGA student Robbi , finished 13th at 86-81-167.

Lendls in action

Another pair of sisters training at the DLGA-Bradenton, Isabelle and Marika Lendl , tied for fourth and 11th, respectively, in the 53rd annual Harder Hall Women's Invitational at Harder Hall Country Club in Sebring.

Isabelle, a junior at The IMG Academy School, recovered from an opening 78 to shoot three consecutive 72s and finish at 294, 13 strokes behind winner Alison Walshe of the University of Arizona. Walshe shot 68-68 the final two rounds.

Marika, a IMG Academy senior who has signed with UCF, shot 76-75-73-74 for a 298 total.

Guess who's No. 1?

Tiger Woods is atop the U.S. Ryder Cup Team point standings after last week's Mercedes-Benz Championship, won by Daniel Chopra of Sweden in a playoff against Steve Stricker .

The 2008 Ryder Cup will be played Sept. 19-21 at Valhalla in Louisville. Paul Azinger of Bradenton is the U.S. team captain.

Woods, who did not play in the Mercedes-Benz, has 3,430.627 points, more than double runner-up Jim Furyk 's 1,691.981. The rest of the top 15:

Zach Johnson , 1,497.393; Stricker, 1,103.079; Woody Austin , 842; Hunter Mahan , 752.291; Stewart Cink , 630.235; Joe Durant , 585.710; Jerry Kelly , 525.231; David Toms , 518.178; Scott Verplank , 515.874; Ben Curtis , 426.879; Charles Howell III , 412.167; Troy Matteson , 388.910; Arron Oberholser , 384.061.

Phil Mickelson , in case you're wondering, is 55th with 98.550 points.

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