YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections


Woods Looking for Exemption


BLOOMFIELD HILLS, Mich. — Tiger Woods shot a second-round 69 at the U.S. Open on Friday, then said for the first time that he might turn pro if he wins either of the two PGA Tour events he has entered after the U.S. Amateur in August.

"I might, yeah, because now I [would] have an exemption, and it is nice to know that I have guaranteed two years."

Woods, 20, the two-time defending U.S. Amateur champion, also said he might turn pro if he wins a third consecutive national amateur title Aug. 19-25 at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club in suburban Portland, Ore.

In the past, Woods has maintained he would return to Stanford for his junior year.

"It depends on how well I did [in the two tour events]," Woods said.

He is scheduled to play at Milwaukee on Aug. 29 and the Quad City Classic on Sept. 12. Tournament champions receive two-year exemptions to play on the tour.

After a near-disastrous first-round 76, in which he played the last five holes at Oakland Hills in nine over par, Woods turned in a steady second round and made the cut despite three-putting three times.

It was the first time in 13 rounds at major championships that Woods had broken 70.

He even birdied the par-four 16th, where he had made a quadruple-bogey eight Thursday.

"It owed me one," Woods said.


His post-Masters detractors may call him "Mr. Friday," but Greg Norman's second-round 66 looked pretty good.

Norman's one-under-par total of 139 is only one shot off Payne Stewart's lead. Maybe that's not spectacular, but it's much better than the 78 he closed with at Augusta National when he managed to lose the Masters.

He has had eight weeks to digest that disappointment, and Norman said there are no lingering after-effects.

"What happens in the past is no indication of what is going to happen in the future," Norman said. "You just get back onto the horse or your bike or whatever you want to call it and you just keep going."

At the par-four 16th, Norman got onto whatever he wanted to call it and took off.

From 140 yards, he hit an eight-iron and the ball spun back into the hole for an eagle.

"It was just a perfect shot," Norman said. "I saw the shot, I felt the shot."


Neal Lancaster's favorite number in the U.S. Open must be 29.

That's what he shot on the back nine Friday, and it matched the 29 he shot in the fourth round in last year's Open at Shinnecock Hills.

Lancaster made the turn at three over par, then birdied No. 11; eagled the 550-yard No. 12 when he hit driver, driver and made a two-foot putt; and birdied No. 13 with a 10-footer, No. 14 with a 12-footer and No. 15 when he two-putted from 20 feet.

Lancaster's reaction?

"I started to shake," he said.

Lancaster missed a four-footer for birdie on No. 18 and a chance for an Open-record 28 for nine holes.

"I couldn't even take the club back," he said.

He turned in a 67 that left him at 141.

Lancaster said his father and four friends who were following him left after the front nine Friday when he was eight over to drive home to Smithfield, N.C.

"My goal is hopefully they can't get back," he said. "Obviously they are bad luck."


John Daly, who shot 69 and is at 141, said he thinks he is maturing as a person:

"I think I am just growing up a lot. . . . As soon as I say that, I'm probably going to say something stupid tomorrow."


Eight isn't enough for Bill Murchison, a 39-year-old qualifier from Acworth, Ga. His wife, Karen, is expecting their ninth child.

Murchison, who put up a second-round 68, said he isn't thinking about more kids.

"We'll probably just stop with a baseball team," he said.


Maybe they should use their fingers. Bernhard Langer was disqualified for signing an incorrect scorecard Friday, one day after Grant Waite was disqualified for the same thing.

Los Angeles Times Articles