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Golf briefs

By Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published August 26, 2000


Woods pulls away with 36-hole mark

AKRON, Ohio -- The major championships are done for the year. Tiger Woods is not.

Just five days after winning his third consecutive major, Woods again found himself playing in a different tournament than everyone else, and certainly playing a different game.

He flirted with 59 for the second day in a row. He became only the fourth man in competition to reach the 625-yard 16th in two. And he walked off Firestone Country Club by matching one record, breaking another and not even knowing it.

Woods had 9-under 61 to tie the course record set by Jose Maria Olazabal in 1990, and his 125 set a standard on the PGA Tour for 36 holes.

Woods pumped his fist and smiled when his 6-foot par putt on the 18th dropped in the hole, as if he were aware he had tied the course record. Only that wasn't the case.

"I didn't want to finish with a bogey for the second day in a row," he said. "I'm just trying to hit good, solid shots. I just want to get the W. "

That shouldn't be too difficult. Woods had a seven-stroke lead over Phil Mickelson, the largest 36-hole margin of his career.

While Woods appears invincible, Mickelson wasn't about to declare the NEC Invitational over. "A little disappointing you would even bring that up," said Mickelson, who had 66. "One of my thought processes was, "Listen, if I can make some birdies, I can get in the final group.' I think there's some real benefits to that."

Webb charges into lead with record-tying 61

EAST LANSING, Mich. -- Karrie Webb, widely considered the LPGA's answer to Tiger Woods, put on a stunning display of golf, equal to almost any of Woods' heroics.

Webb matched the LPGA's 18-hole record with 11-under-par 61 in the second round of the Oldsmobile Classic. That left her at 17-under 127, breaking the 36-hole LPGA record of 16 under by Michelle McGann last year at the Hermitage Golf Course in Old Hickory, Tenn.

"After I eagled No. 6, I was thinking about a 59," said Webb, who takes a three-stroke lead over first-round leader Meg Mallon into today's third round.

Mallon, whose course-record of 10 under on the 6,241-yard Walnut Hills Country Club lasted only one day, bogeyed the ninth, her final hole of the day, for 68 and 130.

Webb already owns the LPGA records for 54 holes (22 under) and 72 holes (26 under). Lisa Walters set the Oldsmobile Classic record with a winning score of 23 under in 1998. That mark is likely to be shattered before the third round is over.

Webb and Mallon started the round on No. 10, with Mallon's threesome right behind Webb's group. As a result, each could see clearly what the other was doing.

"I was really trying to do my own thing out there," said Mallon, who needed 30 putts, compared with 23 in the first round.

Webb, starting the day four shots behind Mallon, wasted no time letting the rest of the field know the chase was on. She knocked a wedge within 4 feet for birdie at No. 10. That set the tone for a record-shattering day.

Birdies at Nos. 2, 4 and 5 got Webb to 14 under, tied with Mallon. At the sixth, a 460-yard hole the women play as a par 5, Webb hit a 5-wood within 15 feet of the pin. As her eagle putt curled toward the cup, she yelled at the ball to stay on line. She pumped her fist when the ball fell in.

"I don't think I knew how special the round was until I had that putt for eagle," Webb said.

U.S. AMATEUR: England's Luke Donald won the showdown of college golf's best players, closing with birdies on two of the last four holes to beat Bryce Molder 1-up in the quarterfinals at Springfield, N.J.

David Eger, 48, of Ponte Vedra Beach, looking to become the oldest winner, comeback kid Jeff Quinney and James Driscoll, the University of Virginia player who was a quarterfinalist last year, also advanced.

FLEETBOSTON CLASSIC: Harold Henning has arthritis in both knees. Simon Hobday had a swing like "a clutch you can't get in gear." The South Africans had something else -- a share of the lead with Larry Nelson after the first round at Concord, Mass.

"This must be an old man's course," Hobday said, "old South Africans."

Hobday, 60, and Henning, 65, shot 5-under-par 67 on the Nashawtuc Country Club course. Neither has a top-10 finish this year.

COMPAQ OPEN: Kirsty Taylor backed up her runner-up finish in the British Open by shooting 4-under-par 68 and taking a one-stroke lead over Juli Inkster and Kathryn Marshall at Stockholm, Sweden. Taylor, 29, of England totaled 6-under 138. Overnight leader Annika Sorenstam of Sweden dropped to fourth at 140 after 71.

PGA JUNIOR CHAMPIONSHIP: Naree Wongluekiet, 14, of Bradenton birdied the 16th and 18th holes to offset double bogey on the par-3 15th and keep the lead in the girls division with 69-207. But just two strokes back was twin sister Aree, who charged to 67. Whitney Code of Tampa (69) was another stroke back at 210.

In the boys division, Ty Tryon, 17, of Orlando widened his lead to nine strokes with 4-under 68. He was at 10-under 206.

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