tampabay.com

Two share lead in Texas Open

By TIMES WIRES
Published September 23, 2006


SAN ANTONIO, Texas - Eric Axley shot bogey-free 7-under 63 on Friday for a share of the second-round lead with D.A. Points in the Texas Open.

Points had 66 to match Axley at 9-under 131 on the LaCantera Golf Club's Resort Course. Paul Goydos was another stroke back after 63.

Axley, a 32-year-old left-hander who lives in Knoxville, Tenn., missed one green in regulation on each side and was perfect finding fairways off the tee on the front side before missing two on the back. The 63 was the best round of his PGA Tour career.

"Today was pretty stress-free," said Axley, winless on the PGA Tour. "Seemed like all the birdie putts I did make were between 8 and 12 feet without much break."

He had four birdies on Nos. 7-11 and one more the rest of the way in.

Points, also seeking his first PGA Tour victory, began play a stroke behind first-round leader Alex Cejka and Justin Rose, but dropped three shots with double bogey and bogey on his first three holes before rallying with six birdies in the next 10.

"Could not have started out any worse, I don't believe," Points said. "But then I figured out something with my swing."

The 29-year-old Orlando resident, 165th on the money list this season, noticed his weight was shifting too much to his left side when he dumped a 9-iron shot 40 feet from the pin on the easy par-3 13th, his fourth hole of the day. He said he almost fell over during his follow-through.

He managed par, then birdied six of his next 10 holes to tie Axley for the lead.

Cejka and Rose struggled Friday. Rose shot 71 to fall four strokes back at 5-under 135, and Cejka was six shots after shooting 73.

LPGA: Karrie Webb moved into contention for her fourth tour victory of the year, shooting 2-under 70 in windy conditions for a share of the second-round lead with Jeong Jang in the Longs Drugs Challenge at Danville, Calif.

Jang followed her course-record 64 on Thursday with 73 to match Webb at 7-under 137.

"I had a really tough day," Jang said. "I had a bad start and a bad finish. The wind was really tough. I'm usually a good wind player. I don't know what happened."

Lorie Kane (71), Stacy Prammanasudh (68) and Maria Hjorth (68) were 6 under, and Morgan Pressel (68), Cristie Kerr (70) and Jill McGill (71) followed at 5 under. Annika Sorenstam (70) and Lorena Ochoa (72) were in a group at 4 under.

"Very tough," Sorenstam said. "Stressful, I think. It was just swirling so much. It's not just 2, 3 miles per hour, we're talking 15 to 20, maybe even more. It makes such a big difference and this elevation change ... I've been thinking so much out there, I'm worn out."

Pat Hurst had a hole-in-one on the 178-yard 10th. Using a 7-iron, Hurst knocked her tee shot straight at the hole then watched as the ball bounced twice before landing in the cup. Hurst shot her second straight 73 to make the cut at 2-over 146.

Nancy Scranton of Tampa was tied for 20th at 143 after shooting 2-over 74. Clearwater's Jennifer Gleason shot 75 to finish at 146. Seminole's Brittany Lincicome and Tampa's Beth Bauer failed to make the cut after shooting 77 and 74, respectively.

NATIONWIDE TOUR: Fran Quinn had seven birdies in the second round of the Oregon Classic for 4-under 68, moving him into a first-place tie with Ricky Barnes at 9-under 135. Barnes also shot 4 under at the Shadow Hills Country Club in Junction City.

ASIAN TOUR: Korea's Kang Ji-man shot 9-under 63 to give him the lead after the second round of the Kolon-Hana Bank Korea Open in Cheonan. Kang, 30, had an eagle and seven birdies against a lone bogey on his home course at the par-71 Woo Jeong Hills Country Club and headed the Asian Tour event with 12-under 130.

Reno-Tahoe Open: The event will remain part of the PGA Tour for at least four more years after a vote Tuesday by members of the Montreux Golf & Country Club in Nevada. The vote was the final hurdle for the event to remain at Montreux through 2010. The Reno-Tahoe Open, which completed its eighth year on Aug. 27, will remain the same week as the World Golf Championship-Bridgestone Invitational.