tampabay.com

Watney keeps lead at Chrysler Classic

By TIMES WIRES
Published October 7, 2006


GREENSBORO, N.C. - Nick Watney shrugged off the showers, played it safe and stayed in position for his first PGA Tour win.

Watney shot 1-under 71 Friday to move to 9-under 135 and remain in the lead during a rainy, blustery second round in the Chrysler Classic of Greensboro.

"With the wind and the rain, it definitely made it a little tougher to be aggressive and get the ball close," Watney said. "Especially on a day like today where pars are pretty good, it's a good thing to not take a step backwards."

Ryan Palmer (65) and John Senden (70) were a stroke back. Palmer had the day's best round, which included an eagle and six birdies despite the conditions on the 7,333-yard Forest Oaks Country Club course.

Off-and-on showers, temperatures in the mid 50s and gusting, sometimes swirling wind made the scores generally higher than they were in the hot, clear first round.

"It's one of those days you've got to stay focused and not let the weather get you, try to make pars and get a couple birdies," Palmer said. "Fortunately, I was able to sneak in six birdies today along with the eagle."

Tim Petrovic (69), Eric Axley (69), Chris Couch (68), Charley Hoffman (71), Greg Owen (69) and Ryan Moore (70) were two strokes back.

Watney birdied his first two holes, had 10 consecutive pars and made his only bogey on the par-5 13th. He missed the fairway with his tee shot, got onto the green in four shots and left a par putt 7 inches short.

"I was swinging well and had a few more opportunities early, but then (I) didn't hit it as well as I did yesterday, so I made a lot of good par saves," Watney said.

lpga: Lorena Ochoa gave the hometown fans something to cheer about, shooting a course-record 9-under 64 to take a three-stroke lead after the second round of the Corona Morelia Championship in Morelia, Mexico.

Ochoa had an eagle, eight birdies and a bogey on the Tres Marias course to finish at 135 after two rounds.

She birdied the first two holes and holed an 8-iron from 131 yards for an eagle 2 on the 353-yard seventh, drawing a loud cheer from the 300 fans who followed her round, many clutching "Let's Go Lorena!" signs.

South Korea's Sun Young Yoo (67) had six birdies and no bogeys and was second at 8 under.

First-round leader Brandie Burton shot 75 to fall into a tie for 15th. Clearwater's Jennifer Gleason (74-153) and Tampa's Beth Bauer (80-155) failed to make the cut.

European PGA: Bradley Dredge chipped in twice for 4-under 67 at Carnoustie and took a three-stroke lead after the second round of the Dunhill Links in St. Andrews, Scotland. First-round leader Paul Casey dropped into a tie for 11th. Three courses are being used for this pro-am event, including the easier Kingsbarns, where Dredge plays today.

champions: Loren Roberts wasted little time working his way to the top the leaderboard in his first Champions Tour start in a month, shooting 5-under 67 for a share of the first-round lead in the SAS Championship in Cary, N.C. Mitch Adcock also opened with 67, and Tom Jenkins had 68 on the Prestonwood Country Club course.

nationwide: Kevin Na shot 5-under 66 to keep the lead at the Mark Christopher Charity Classic in Ranch Cucamonga, Calif.

asian: American Gary Rusnak shot 6-under 66 at the Taiwan Open in Taipei to grab the second-round lead.