Saturday, July 10, 2004

Mallon hangs in despite bad day

CBS' McCord leads seniors

The Associated Press

NIAGARA FALLS, Ontario - After having everything go her way on the golf course lately, Meg Mallon showed she's also capable of responding to adversity.

Mallon was resilient - overcoming a shot that struck a tree branch and led to one of her two bogeys - in a 2-under 70 Friday that kept her in the lead after the second round of the Canadian Women's Open.

Mallon, coming off last week's win at the U.S. Women's Open, was at 9-under 135, a stroke ahead of Lorena Ochoa, who had a second-round 67. Defending champion Beth Daniel (68), Gloria Park (70), Dawn Coe-Jones (69) and rookie Aree Song (66) were tied for third at 137, a stroke ahead of Nancy Scranton, who had a second-round 69.

Mi Hyun Kim, fifth on the LPGA money list this season, had a 70 and was in a group of five four shots off lead in the $1.3 million event being held at Legends on the Niagara.

"It was a good test," Mallon said. "I was just happy that I could develop some sort of rhythm out there with a round that absolutely had no momentum whatsoever."

Mallon won her second U.S. Open Sunday when she closed with a 6-under 65, the best final round by a champion in tournament history.

She carried that momentum north of the border with a bogey-free 65 that gave her a two-stroke lead after the first round.

CHAMPIONS TOUR: Gary McCord is going to skip work to play golf. And he's not going to get in trouble.

McCord, better known as a TV golf analyst than an occasional player on the Champions Tour, surged into the lead at the Senior Players Championship on Friday with an 8-under 64.

He was then caught by Jose Maria Canizares, whose 66 also put him at 10 under at one of the senior tour's five majors.

McCord does not play regularly because of his job at CBS, which will broadcast the final two rounds and turn McCord into a player-analyst at least today when he's in the final group.

"I'll just do interviews on the golf course or something," he said. "I don't know what we'll do. We'll figure it out."

First-round leader Gil Morgan followed his 65 with a 2-under 70 and was at 9 under, tied for second place with Dana Quigley and Mark James. Ed Fiori and Doug Tewell will start today's third round another stroke back.

Defending champion Craig Stadler and Bruce Fleisher were among a group of four at 7 under, three strokes back.

With nine birdies and one bogey, McCord fell one stroke short of the tournament record.

"I kept hitting the ball where I was aiming, the right distance and everything, which is usually not the case with me," he said.

PGA DEERE CLASSIC: Jose Coceres waited out a lengthy rain delay and played into fading daylight Friday, taking a one-shot lead before play was suspended in the second round.

The 40-year-old Argentine was 2 under through 11 holes for the round and was 11 under overall when play was halted because of lightning. About half of the field was to finish this morning before the start of the third round.

SCOTTISH OPEN: Gregory Havret made an eagle and three birdies over the final six holes for a 7-under 64, giving the 27-year-old Frenchman a one-shot lead.

Havret was at 9-under 133 going into a weekend that will not include Phil Mickelson. The Masters champion shot an even-par 71 to finish at 1-over 143 and miss the cut. The American said he will spend the next two days at Royal Troon getting ready for the British Open.

BRITISH OPEN: Fred Couples withdrew from the British Open on Friday citing a bad back, the fifth time in the last 11 years that the former Masters champion has pulled out of golf's oldest championship.

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