tampabay.com

Big save keys 62 as Bryant leads Tour Championship

Associated Press
Published November 4, 2005


ATLANTA - Bart Bryant is starting to believe he can compete with the best. If his victory at the Memorial wasn't enough to convince him, the course-record 62 he shot Thursday at East Lake should do the trick.

A career-grinder and late bloomer, the 42-year-old Bryant made the most of his Tour Championship debut by missing only two fairways and two greens, and making one spectacular par save to take a two-shot lead over defending champion Retief Goosen.

Bryant was the only player in the 29-man field without a bogey.

Kenny Perry bogeyed the last two holes for 65, and Tiger Woods and Sergio Garcia were at 66. Woods was at 5 under through eight and poised to shoot 29 on the front until failing to convert an easy up-and-down for birdie from the bunker.

Bryant faced an awkward stance left of the 17th green, hoping to chip within 10 feet. Instead, Bryant's shot hit the pin and rattled the cup before settling a tap-in distance away.

"I almost felt like apologizing after that one," he said. "My caddie and I looked at each other and said, "This is your day.' "

Woods made a surprising equipment change. For the first time in his 10 years on tour, Woods replaced his 2-iron with a 5-wood.

Woods used it once Thursday, hitting it into the right bunker on the par-4 12th hole.

"I got ahead of that one, and started it a little farther right then I wanted," he said. "But the flight was fine."

PGA TOUR: Bob Tway tied a first-round tournament record with 8-under 64 and took a one-stroke lead in the Southern Farm Bureau Classic at Madison, Miss.

On his last hole, Tway left a 13-foot par putt 2 inches short. The SFB Classic's record for a low round is 61, set by Keith Clearwater in 1996.