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Golf

Woods stretches cuts-made streak to 120

By BOB HARIG
Published March 27, 2004

PONTE VEDRA BEACH - The streak continues.

Tiger Woods has made the cut in 120 consecutive PGA Tour events dating to 1998 after a second-round 69 at the Players Championship. Woods, after an opening 75, was in danger of missing the 36-hole cut, which came at 146, 2 over par.

But starting on the back nine, he eagled the 11th hole and birdied the 12th. Woods had just one more birdie and finished at even 144, nine shots back of co-leaders Jerry Kelly and Kevin Sutherland.

"I was trying to shoot 66," said Woods, tied for 44th. "I thought 3 under par would put me right where I need to be to win the tournament on the weekend. Now I need a good, solid number where I have a chance on Sunday afternoon."

The 69 helped Woods avoid a fifth consecutive over-par round, something he had done once in his career, in 1998.

THROW IN THE TOWEL: Sutherland has a security blanket that is hard to miss. He's the guy who is always holding a towel.

It is a ritual Sutherland has employed as long as he can remember. He brings a towel with him onto the course and holds it throughout the round, handing it to his caddie whenever he hits a shot.

"It has become something that people recognize me by, I guess," said Sutherland, who shot 69 Friday. "It's just something I've always done. It's part of my routine. I clean my own golf ball, and it gives me something to do besides sitting there thinking about my putt. It gets my mind off of what I'm actually trying to do."

DREAMS OF AUGUSTA: John Daly has kept alive his hope of playing at the Masters in two weeks. With a second-round 73, he completed 36 holes at 142, 2 under par. He likely needs to finish in the top 20 to get an invitation to the Masters, which takes the top 50 from the World Ranking (Daly is 53rd) or the top 10 on the PGA Tour money list (he is ninth). Daly was tied for 21st.

Asked if he was thinking about the Masters, Daly said: "This course doesn't allow you to, because it's playing so hard. I wasn't thinking about it too much. (I'll need) two really good rounds."

Daly went 27 holes without making bogey, then bogeyed four of the first eight holes of his final nine (the front side) before a birdie at the ninth.

AROUND THE TPC: For the second straight week, the player with the second-longest streak to Woods missed the cut. Last week, it was Ernie Els, whose streak ended at 30. At the Players, Masters champion Mike Weir missed, ending his streak at 19. Now the longest to Woods' is 16 in a row by Jerry Kelly. ... Defending champion Davis Love, after an opening 77, rallied with 68 to make the cut. ... Clearwater's John Huston kept alive his chances of making the Masters field by shooting 71. He was tied for 23rd at 143. ... Jose Maria Olazabal had a hole-in-one at the 171-yard par-3 13th with 7-iron. It was the second ace of the year on the PGA Tour (Carl Pettersson had one at the Nissan Open) and the 23rd in Players Championship history. ... The cut of 2 over was the highest this year on the PGA Tour. The previous was 1 over at the Ford Championship at Doral.

[Last modified March 27, 2004, 02:10:29]


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