Saturday, February 21, 2004

Daly's 10-under within striking distance of lead


Trails co-leaders Weir, Maruyama by 2

The Associated Press

LOS ANGELES - Mike Weir's victory last year at Riviera was no fluke. Neither was John Daly's victory last week.

[img]
John Daly is only two shots back.
(AP photo)
Weir birdied five of his last seven holes Friday for a 7-under 64 that gave him a tie for the lead with Shigeki Maruyama, a share of the 36-hole record at the Nissan Open and hopes of joining idol Ben Hogan as a back-to-back winner at Riviera.

None of that seemed to matter to a gallery gaga over Daly.

Coming off a stunning victory last week at Torrey Pines - his first on the PGA Tour in nine years - Daly played even better in his round of 64 that left him only two shots back.

"It's a great feeling," Daly said. "I really didn't mis-hit a golf shot."

He wasn't alone. The average score was 69.76. Tiger Woods shot a 66 and didn't make up any ground, heading into the weekend eight shots behind Weir and Maruyama. Maruyama, a member at Riviera, was only hopeful of making the cut and wound up with a 66. He and Weir were at 12-under 130, tying the 36-hole record set by Davis Love III in 1992. Scott McCarron (65) and Briny Baird (62) were another shot back.

MATCH PLAY: Ernie Els withdrew from next week's championship, saying he wanted be in London when his 4-year-old daughter goes to school for the first time. Els, the No. 3 player in the world, had said last month he was debating whether to play in a $7 million World Golf Championship in which he doesn't like the format (18-hole matches) or the golf course (La Costa Resort, Calif.).

Earlier this week, Jim Furyk (No. 5) said he would have to withdraw because of torn cartilage in his left wrist that have kept him from playing since the Sony Open.

It's the first time at La Costa that the Match Play Championship has lost two players from the top 10.

The 64-man field, including Steve Flesch of Union, Ky., is determined by the world rankings.

CHAMPIONS TOUR: Tom Kite found the weather to his liking and shot an 8-under-par 63 for a one-shot lead after the opening round of the Champions Tour event at the TPC of Tampa Bay in Lutz, Fla.

Kite took advantage of little wind on a damp, overcast day, carding eight birdies in a bogey-free trip over the 6,783-yard course. Larry Nelson and Mike McCullough were a shot off the lead with John Bland and David Eger two back in the Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am.

MALAYSIAN OPEN: Thaworn Wiratchant of Thailand and Lee Sung-man of South Korea shared the lead after rain interrupted second-round play in Kuala Lumpur. Thaworn shot a 5-under 67 for a two-day total of 137. Lee, who was born deaf, shot a 68. Less than half the field completed the round, which will resume today.

NATIONWIDE TOUR: Australia's Adam Groom shot a 2-under 69 to take a one-stroke lead after the second round of the Jacob's Creek Open in Adelaide, Australia.

Groom had a 7-under 135 total on the Kooyonga course in the event co-sanctioned by the Nationwide and Australasian tours. Oak Hills High grad Brett Wetterich (68) and Bob Sowards (71) of Columbus were in a group at 4 under.




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