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Golf

Oberholser gets hot as field wilts

By Wire services
Published May 9, 2004

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Arron Oberholser felt like he was going to pass out from the steamy heat. Instead, he passed everyone and wound up alone atop the Wachovia Championship.

As temperatures approached 90 degrees, Oberholser holed a 20-foot eagle putt to jumpstart his back nine, then surged past a pack of contenders and left Tiger Woods far behind.

Oberholser finished 4-under-par 68 Saturday for a one-shot lead and a chance for his first PGA Tour victory.

"I was half in a fog because my blood sugar was so low," Oberholser said. "I know the folks around here are like, "This is nothing.' It's tough on my body."

A three-putt bogey on No.18 left Oberholser at 11-under 205. Geoff Ogilvy matched the best round of the day with a bogey-free 66 and was at 206, along with Notah Begay (69).

Woods was running hot, too, but that had more to do with his temper.

His two-shot lead was gone in 30 minutes, and his swing was not far behind. By the end of the day, Woods resorted to a safe slice off the tee with hopes of keeping the ball somewhere on the property. Even that wasn't entirely successful, and he wound up with 75 that left him five shots behind.

It was his highest score in 24 previous times when he had the second-round lead.

"I didn't have it at all," Woods said.

He still has an outside chance, along with 20 others. It was such a bizarre day at Quail Hollow that there was a five-way tie for the lead in the middle of the round, and seven players had a share of it at some point.

LPGA: A swirling wind made par a good score on the River Course at Kingsmill, bunching up the field and leaving the Michelob Ultra Open wide open for the final round in Williamsburg, Va.

"I was picking up the grass and throwing it. It will come down this way," said 14-year-old Michelle Wie, indicating a zigzagging flight pattern. "I was like, "That doesn't tell me anything."'

On a day when five players shot under par, Lorena Ochoa and Cristie Kerr grabbed the lead at 7-under 206. Ochoa shot the day's best round, 3-under 68, and Kerr had 70 after a finishing bogey.

Kerr, who launched a Birdies for Breast Cancer campaign just last week, said her mother had breast cancer last year and winning today "would be a perfect way to tell her I loved her on Mother's Day."

Ochoa closed with a winding 40-foot par putt on the par-4 18th.

"As soon as I hit it and it started turning right, you knew it was in," she said. "I am going to sleep much better now with that stroke."

Second-round leader Kim Williams, a non-winner in 16 years on tour, lost a four-stroke lead in the first 11 holes and followed an event-record 63 with a 78 that included seven bogeys.

Wie, playing on a sponsor's exemption, struggled with her accuracy, but she repeatedly showed a deft touch around the greens and battled for 2-over 73. She was six back in a tie for 16th at 1-under 212.

"Today it was kind of an adventurous fun, (like) you are living life on the edge," Wie said of her constant scrambling. "It's like saving yourself from the mouth of an alligator every time, and it's pretty fun."

CHAMPIONS: Trying to become the oldest winner in tour history, Bob Charles shot 2-under 70 for a share of the second-round lead in the FedEx Kinko's Classic.

The 68-year-old matched Wayne Levi and Mark McNulty at 5-under 139 on The Hills Country Club course in Austin, Texas. Levi and McNulty shot 71s.

Charles, the 1963 British Open winner who won the last of his 23 tour titles in 1996, also is trying to win a professional tournament for the sixth straight decade. Mike Fetchick is the oldest winner on the 50-and-over circuit, taking the 1985 Hilton Head Seniors Invitational at age 63.

"This is the type of course I feel comfortable on, but I'm trying not to think about winning. That will just put pressure on myself," Charles said. "After a few glasses of red wine tonight, I should be pretty relaxed."

The left-hander had four birdies and two bogeys in tricky wind.

EUROPEAN PGA: England's Paul Broadhurst shot 6-under 66, taking a one-stroke lead over Barry Lane and Eduardo Romero after three rounds at the British Masters in Meriden. Broadhust, a Ryder Cup player in 1991 who has not won in nine years, was 11-under 205. Broadhurst is playing with his right elbow strapped after an injury last month.

NATIONWIDE: Chris Anderson shot 6-under 66 to take the lead at the Chattanooga Classic in Tennessee. Anderson was 17-under 199, one stroke ahead of Todd Demsey (63). Ryuji Imada of Tampa shot 70 and was 10 shots back.

[Last modified May 9, 2004, 01:40:27]


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