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NEC course-record 63 puts Allenby in co-lead

Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published August 24, 2002

SAMMAMISH, Wash. -- Robert Allenby had few complaints about his game the past few weeks, only his scores.

SAMMAMISH, Wash. -- Robert Allenby had few complaints about his game the past few weeks, only his scores.

All changed Friday with his best round in the United States, a course-record 63 that propelled him into a share of the lead with Steve Lowery in the NEC Invitational.

"I've played pretty solid, but I've had no magic or no spark in there," Allenby said.

Sparks were flying in the second round at Sahalee Country Club.

For Allenby, they started with a 3-iron he took over the "goal post" trees that guard the 11th green, setting up a 10-foot eagle. He ended his round with a 5-foot birdie.

"I haven't played anywhere near the way I played last year or the year before, when I won twice each year," he said. "But things turn around, and I've been patient."

Lowery started his round the way Allenby finished, with birdies on four of his first five. He missed two short par putts on the back nine and finished with 65 to join Allenby at 10-under 132.

"I'm enjoying this run," said Lowery, who had two runner-up finishes in the past six weeks, one at the International when he made double eagle on the 17th.

First-round co-leader Retief Goosen (68) was another stroke back, and 22-year-old Justin Rose of England had his second straight 67.

Tiger Woods' hopes of becoming the first in 75 years to win the same event four years straight will require low scores on the weekend.

Birdies were followed by bogeys, putts lipped out and Woods finished six strokes back at 1-under 70, the widest margin he has faced after any round in the three-year history of the Invitational.

"It wasn't pretty," Woods said. "You can't make too many mistakes on this golf course."

Allenby topped the course mark of 65, held by Greg Kraft and Nick Price at the 1998 PGA Championship (par 70) and matched Thursday by Goosen and Toshi Izawa (65-73).

Colin Montgomerie, who shot 71 in the opening round, withdrew because of a bad back.

RENO-TAHOE OPEN: Steve Flesch had eagle and four straight birdies for 8-under 64 and a share of the second-round lead in Nevada with Tom Pernice Jr. and rookie Ben Crane. Flesch, who started with a migraine headache and a sore wrist, finished 10-under 134.

Crane, looking for his first PGA Tour win, capitalized on big drives, at least two more than 350 yards, for his second 67. Pernice made birdie putts of 44 and 30 feet en route to 68, and playing partner Duffy Waldorf, his former teammate at UCLA, finished at 135, tied with Jonathan Kaye and Steve Allan. First-round leader Charles Howell III (73), was four back.

UNITING FORE CARE CLASSIC: Morris Hatalsky chipped in on consecutive holes, finishing with eight birdies, an eagle and 19 points to take first-round lead in the Senior PGA event in Park City, Utah.

Tom Watson birdied and eagled two of the final three, moving into second with 14 points. Hugh Baiocchi, Terry Dill, Mike McCullogh and John Harris were tied for third with 12.

The event uses modified Stableford format, usually seen at the PGA's International in Colorado, awarding eight points for double eagle, five for eagle and two for birdie. No points are given for par, while bogey is minus-1 and double bogey or worse minus-3.

"Stableford creates a little variety for us and the fans," Hatalsky said. "It's fun chipping in for eagles, and you get five points, too. It's like my wife's home cooking. It's good."

Hatalsky played on the Tour last season after a five-year break from competitive golf in preparing for the senior tour. He has finished second three times. Fan favorite Arnold Palmer had the gallery cheering with six points and five birdies, four coming on par 5s. Converted to stroke play, his round would have been 71, his lowest of the season.

BETSY KING CLASSIC: Danielle Ammaccapane took another step toward ending a four-year winless streak, shooting 3-under 69 for a share of the second-round lead in Kutztown, Pa. Ammaccapane, who opened with 66, was tied with Wendy Doolan (68) at 9-under 135 in the LPGA event.

Karrie Webb (65) was at 136 with Michelle Ellis (69), Rachel Teske (67) and Stefania Croce (68). Tampa's Beth Bauer (66) was tied with four at 138. Jill McGill (71), who began tied for the lead with Ammaccapane, was at 143 with defending champ Heather Daly-Donofrio (67).

U.S. AMATEUR: Bill Haas, son of PGA Tour pro Jay, beat John Klauk 5 and 4 to reach the semifinals in Bloomfield Hills, Mich. He faces Ricky Barnes, who beat 18-year-old Spencer Levin 4 and 3. In the other semifinal, Hunter Mahan faces Dustin Bray. Mahan beat 2001 champion Henry Liaw 3 and 2. Bray defeated Ryan Moore 4 and 3.

SCOTTISH PGA: Adam Scott shot 7-under 65 for a four-stroke lead in the European PGA event at Gleneagles. He was 12 under 132 through two rounds, ahead of Richard Green (71) and Marcel Siem (66). Bubba Dickerson, last year's U.S. Amateur champ, shot 1-over 73, missing the cut by a stroke.

FLORIDA MID-SENIOR AMATEUR: Englewood's John Corzilius shot 8-under 64 for a four-shot lead in Winter Garden. Four were tied for second: Jupiter's Larry Monteith, Melbourne's Weldon Ballagh, Valrico's Phillip Johnson and Morriston's Carl Erickson. Defending champ Randy Elliott of Winter Park was at 69.

PEPSI CHALLENGE: Greg Boyette shot a second straight 4-under 68 to win the Pepsi Challenge in Jupiter, his first victory in two seasons on the Golden Bear Tour. Boyette finished at 273, two shots better than Miami's Richard Terga, who led or shared the top spot the first three rounds. St. Petersburg's Dan Stone (69) was fourth at 277.

RYDER CUP CHANGES: European captain Sam Torrance switched the order of matches at the Ryder Cup, opening with best-ball format. The Cup, which begins Sept. 27 at the Belfry in England, usually starts with four alternate-shot matches, though the home captain may choose the order. In alternate shot, players trade shots until the hole is finished.

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