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Woods edges out PGA 'bud' for co-lead

By Associated Press
Published September 4, 2004

NORTON, Mass. - Even before he took the first-round lead at the Deutsche Bank Championship, Tiger Woods was having a good day.

Mark O'Meara, Woods' neighbor and friend, had the lead when Woods teed off in the afternoon at the TPC of Boston. Woods shot 6-under 65 to tie Ryan Palmer, one stroke ahead of O'Meara and two others.

"Any time you have one of your best buds up there on top of the board, it's always cool," Woods said. "Mark, boy, he's been like a big brother, really."

Woods, who has won once this year and is in jeopardy of losing his No. 1 ranking, had a first-round lead for the first time since he won the 2003 Western Open. He has won eight of the past 10 tournaments in which he has led or shared the lead after the first round.

"It's certainly nice. ... I don't have to go out there and shoot a round like this just to try and make the cut," Woods said. "It's nice to be able to actually get off to a positive start like this."

A sort of unofficial host of the tournament that benefits the Tiger Woods Foundation, Woods has promised to donate his winnings - $900,000 if he wins - to the charity. He makes the same pledge at the Target World Challenge, where he has won and twice finished second.

While Woods is playing to protect the No. 1 ranking, Palmer is a rookie trying to keep his playing privileges. He entered the tournament No. 130 on the money list, hoping to improve to the top 125 to secure his exempt status for next season.

LPGA TOUR: Christina Kim followed a course record-tying opening round (62) with 6-under 66 to take a four-stroke lead midway through the State Farm Classic in Springfield, Ill.

Kim made three birdies on the front nine to reach 14 under. Cristie Kerr surged into contention, matching her career best with 9-under 63 to get to 12-under 132. After three birdies on the front side, she eagled the par-5 15th and added four birdies on the back nine.

Jennifer Rosales moved to 11 under with 65, and Suzann Pettersen closed her round by holing a sand shot for 67 that left her fourth at 134.

Lorena Ochoa, coming off a win Sunday at the Wachovia Classic, shot 5-under 67 for a four-way tie at 9 under.

CHAMPIONS TOUR: Former PGA Tour official David Eger shot 5-under 67 to take a one-stroke lead after the first round of the First Tee Open at Pebble Beach, Calif. Eger had six birdies and one bogey in warm, near-windless conditions at Pebble Beach Golf Links. D.A. Weibring was second, also at Pebble Beach in the event that includes play on the Bayonet Golf Course. Ryder Cup team member Jay Haas, Tom Watson, Peter Jacobsen and Bruce Lietzke were among 10 players at 70.

EUROPEAN PGA: Sergio Garcia birdied the last four holes for 6-under 65 and a one-shot lead over Ryder Cup teammate and first-round leader Miguel Angel Jimenez after two rounds of the European Masters in Crans-Sur-Sierre, Switzerland. Garcia was at 11-under 131, with Jimenez (67) at 132. Luke Donald, the third member of the European Ryder Cup team playing in the event, shot 67. He was three strokes back with Charl Schwartzel (66). Two-time champion Eduardo Romero was in a group four strokes behind, with defending champion Ernie Els five off the pace after 67.

[Last modified September 4, 2004, 00:37:12]


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