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Appleby drives to lead by a shot

By Associated Press
Published September 17, 2005

FARMINGTON, Pa. - Stuart Appleby, looking for his first victory since January, unleashed big drive after big drive during his sixth consecutive round in the 60s at the 84 Lumber Classic to open a one-shot lead Friday over an equally long hitter, Chris Smith, and a very accurate Cameron Beckman.

Appleby's 6-under 66 on the long but not especially trouble-filled 7,416-yard Mystic Rock course put him at 11-under 133. Beckman's 65 and Smith's 66 put them at 134.

With the wind behind them on most tees and wide fairways to grab every long drive that wasn't badly hit, Appleby and Smith applied John Daly's theory of golf: Grip it and rip it.

"There's tons of room out there," Smith said. "You've got to hit it hard out there. ... I went out and I was swinging - there are some holes on the course that I tried to hit my driver harder than I hit it all year."

Appleby has averaged 320.5 yards with his driver through two rounds, but Smith was even longer Friday with a 341-yard average.

Defending champion Vijay Singh is seven behind. Phil Mickelson, 11 off the lead at even-par 144, flirted with missing the cut for the first time all year, but just made it.

David Toms, 38, was released from the hospital after being treated for a heart condition that developed during Thursday's first round.

Record 64 puts Gilder ahead

HUNT VALLEY, Md. - Bob Gilder tied the tournament and course record with an 8-under 64 Friday for a two-stroke lead after the opening round of the Constellation Energy Classic.

Gilder needed only eight putts on the front nine at Hayfields Country Club and finished with just 22 for his lowest round on the Champions Tour since 2003 at the Emerald Coast Classic, his last victory.

Gilder got to 8 under through No. 14 and putted for birdie on each of the last four holes, but failed to break the tournament record shared by five.

WORLD MATCH PLAY: Top-seeded Retief Goosen tied his own record with a 12-and-11 victory over Mark Hensby and will play U.S. Open champion Michael Campbell for a place in the final.

Campbell drew even with Steve Elkington at the 35th, winning at the 37th with par to reach today's semifinals.

Goosen, the world's fifth-ranked player, set the record when he beat Jeff Maggert 12 and 11 last year. The South African's victory over Hensby allowed him to advance to the semis for the first time in six attempts.

LPGA: Sweden's Maria Hjorth shot a course-record 7-under 64 to take a three-stroke lead after the opening round of the John Q. Hammons Hotel Classic at Broken Arrow, Okla.

Defending champion Annika Sorenstam had an inconsistent round and finished in a three-way tie for fourth at 68. Paula Creamer of Bradenton, the 19-year-old rookie who led the U.S. team to a 151/2-121/2 victory at Crooked Stick in Carmel, Ind., opened with 69.

[Last modified September 17, 2005, 02:15:31]

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