PGA Championship leaders bunched up




 
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August 19th, 2006  
Team Infidel
 
 

Topic: PGA Championship leaders bunched up


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Woods among 17 within 3 shots


MEDINAH, Ill. -- The leaderboard at the PGA Championship has something for everyone heading into the weekend at Medinah Country Club.
There's a Swede, one of the Europeans' top young guns, the guy who was the seventh alternate to get into the tournament and a player nicknamed Lumpy.

Oh, and then there's Tiger Woods.
Henrik Stenson, Luke Donald, Billy Andrade and Tim Herron are tied for the lead after two rounds at 8-under-par 136, but the world's top golfer is just one behind.
Woods curled in a 20-foot birdie putt on the final hole to join Davis Love III and U.S. Open champion Geoff Ogilvy at 137 in the 88th annual PGA where 17 players head into the final two rounds within three strokes of the lead.
"There's a bunched leaderboard," Woods said. "You knew it was going to be that way with the soft greens, and that's basically what it's turned out to be."
Woods, who has won his past two tournaments including the British Open and has 11 career major championships, had four birdies and no bogeys on a murky day that ended with a steady drizzle for those playing in the afternoon.
"I grinded," Woods said. "I didn't do anything too special. I was grinding the entire back nine, and nothing was really happening. I wanted to make something and end the day on a positive note."
Former PGA champion David Toms is in a group of five at 138. Sergio Garcia, former PGA champ Shaun Micheel and former Masters winner Mike Weir are at 139. There are 70 golfers at even par or better.
The grouping of the day again was Woods, Ogilvy and reigning Masters champion Phil Mickelson, who had four birdies and three bogeys and stands at 140.
"I feel like I hit it and was playing Army golf -- left and right," Mickelson said. "But I'm only four back. I'm fighting. I just have to get it turned around."
Woods was fighting it for most of the day, scrambling for several par saves. The most interesting par of the day was at No. 1 where he hooked his drive, which appeared to be headed for the trees. But a fan reached out and knocked the ball down.
"I knew I got a weird hop," Woods said. "I didn't know what happened. … Hey, I appreciated it. It's nice to have Shaq out there knocking them back."
Woods made two birdies on both sides.
"I'm in good shape," he said.
Stenson, a 30-year-old Swede playing in just his second PGA, was the only player from the morning wave of tee times to post 8 under. He made six birdies, including three on the par-3 holes, and had it to 9 under at one point.
Donald, 28, who has long been touted as one of Europe's rising stars, is in contention in the city where he attended college. The Hempstead, England, native played his college golf at Northwestern University.
With five birdies and one bogey, Donald also posted his second straight 68. He started on the front nine and had three birdies before making the turn.
"I think I'm to the stage in my career right now where I feel I should be competing and have a chance to win majors," Donald said.
Andrade was at the movies on Tuesday in Atlanta with his wife when he found out he had made the field. He followed up his 67 in the opening round with a 69, including a 20-foot birdie putt on No. 18.
"I'm 42 years old and have been doing this for 19 years," Andrade said. "Why not me? Why not have fun with this and enjoy it?"
Herron, 36, had the best round of any of the leaders with a 67. The four-time PGA Tour winner started on the back nine and made three birdies before closing with birdies on his final two holes.
"I'm going to go out and do my business," Herron said. "I know if I hit some fairways, I have a good chance of coming down the stretch on Sunday."
But so do a lot of other guys.
"It's a horse race," Andrade said. "You get yourself jockeyed in position. I think it's a great leaderboard. I think you've got the best players in the world, and that's what we want. We want to entertain, and we're going to do that this weekend."
 


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