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Scott still hot with opening 7-under 63

By TIMES WIRES
Published August 25, 2006


AKRON, Ohio - Adam Scott made nine birdies over his final 12 holes Thursday for 7-under 63, giving him a two-shot lead over Jason Gore and four shots clear of Tiger Woods in the Bridgestone Invitational.

Scott closed with 67 for his best finish in a major at Medinah last week, but it was too late to have any shot in the PGA Championship, where he tied for third.

Gore played with an old friend from his junior days in California - Woods - and settled in quickly with a birdie-eagle-birdie start.

The highlight was a 4-wood that he aimed toward the center of the green on the par-5 second hole. He pulled it slightly left, and it wound up 2 feet from the hole.

It was the first time Gore has played with Woods on the PGA Tour. "It's the first time I've played with him since he's been Tiger," said Gore, who got into this World Golf Championship by winning the 84 Lumber Classic last year. "Last time I played with him, he was still Eldrick."

Wood didn't look nearly as sharp as he was four days ago at Medinah, when he captured his 12th career major with a five-shot victory. He traded birdies and bogeys until finishing strong with wedges to 8 feet at No. 16 and 12 feet on No. 18 for 67.

Tiger: Drug testing fine

Woods said he would like to see testing on the tour for performance-enhancing drugs to make sure the sport remains clean.

"I don't know when we could get that implemented," Woods said. "Tomorrow would be fine with me."

Woods did not say he thought anyone was using steroids, but said it could be a problem in the future.

His comments came one day after tour commissioner Tim Finchem said he saw no need for drug testing without evidence players are using steroids.

PGA: Will MacKenzie tied a tour record with three eagles, including a 52-foot putt, and shot 9-under 63 for a one-stroke lead over Bob Estes in the opening round of the Reno-Tahoe (Nev.) Open.

LPGA: Stacy Prammanasudh took advantage of ideal scoring conditions to shoot 6-under 66 and grab a share of the lead with Jee Young Lee, Kristal Parker-Manzo and Katie Futcher in the opening round of the Wendy's Championship for Children in Dublin, Ohio.

Seminole's Brittany Lincicome is in a group of eight one shot back at 67.

CHAMPIONS TOUR: Defending champion Loren Roberts shot 5-under 67 and shared a one-stroke lead with Bobby Wadkins and Wayne Levi after the first round of The Tradition, the final major of the season, in Aloha, Ore.

NATIONWIDE: Michael Long's 9-under 63 gave him a three-shot lead over John Mallinger after one round of the Pete Dye Classic in Bridgeport, W.Va.

U.S. AMATEUR: Billy Horschel, a Florida sophomore, birdied the 17th to defeat David Merkow 3 and 1 at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minn.

Horschel faces Canadian Ryan Yip, who beat Kevin Tway 6 and 5, in today's third round.

MID-AMATEUR: Patrick Olive of Holiday and Ken Palladino of Dunedin shared medalist honors with 3-under 72s at Fox Hollow Golf Club in Trinity to lead 11 who advanced to the Mid-Amateur Championship at Black Diamond Ranch in Lecanto beginning Sept. 28. Others advancing were Sean O'Malia of Pinellas Park (70); John Crum and PJ Penrose of Saint Petersburg (72); Jaime Girardi of New Port Richey, Doug Snoap of Apopka and Howard Vaughn of New Port Richey (73); and Jeff Decker of Oviedo, Jeff Neugebauer of Odessa and Neil Vanleeuwen of Tarpon Springs (74).