Steve Jones turned up the heat in the Phoenix Open on Friday with a seven-under-par 64 that helped him match a PGA Tour record and open a five-stroke lead with two rounds to go.
The 1996 U.S. Open champion's 36-hole total of 16-under 126 on the TPC of Scottsdale tied the tour record for the first 36 holes that most recently was matched last year by John Cook and Rick Fehr.
Paul Azinger, the 1987 Phoenix winner who also completed the first two rounds of a tournament in 16 under, in 1989, shot his way into contention with a 63, the only score better than Jones' on Friday. He is tied with Jesper Parnevik at 132, one shot behind David Duval and Tommy Tolles.
Tiger Woods fired a second consecutive 68 and was in an 11-player cluster at 136.
Seventy-three players made the cut, with defending champion Phil Mickelson and 15 others bringing up the rear at 141.
Arnold Palmer faced cancer with the same bold, aggressive style that made him one of the world's most popular athletes, and it looks like he came up a winner.
"It's like you've got a five-iron in your hand and you're 180 yards out and have two trees in front of you," Palmer said Friday about his decision to have his cancerous prostate gland removed.
"You can pitch it out and hit a wedge or you can go between the trees and not have to hit another shot. I didn't want to walk around thinking I might still have cancer.
"The doctor told me my cancer in the prostate was contained," a tanned and fit-looking Palmer said at Bay Hill Golf Club in Orlando, Fla., as he spoke for the first time since surgery Jan. 15.
Palmer, 67, said he will not be able to swing a golf club for six more weeks. "I have every intention of being at Augusta," he said of the Masters. "I plan to play."
Brian Kontak of Tempe, Ariz., shot six-under 65 in the first round of the Taco Bell Newport Classic, taking a one-stroke lead into today's final round at Newport Beach Country Club.