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Weir Shoots 66 to Take Lead at Canadian Open

The Inside Track | NEWSWIRE

September 11, 2004|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

The Canadian Open got the perfect gift for its 100th anniversary -- Mike Weir in the lead with a round of five-under-par 66 Friday at Oakville, and a showdown with the No. 1 player in golf looming on the weekend.

Weir made a birdie on his final hole to finish one shot ahead of Vijay Singh among those who finished 36 holes.

"Today could not have gone much better," said Weir, who was at nine-under 133 and in the lead at his national open for the first time.

In his first tournament since replacing Tiger Woods at No. 1 in the world, Singh certainly looked the part. After finishing his first nine holes in 40, he broke the Canadian Open record with a 28 on the front nine -- seven under during one seven-hole stretch -- then shot a 66 in the second round.

Because of a five-hour rain delay at the start of the tournament, about half the field will have to return this morning to finish the second round.

Craig Barlow had a 69 and was at six-under 142. Stewart Cink (68) and Chris DiMarco (71), among seven Ryder Cup players in the Canadian Open, were at three-under 139.

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Christina Kim shot a six-under 65 and held a one-stroke lead over Annika Sorenstam and LPGA Tour rookie Shi Hyun Ahn after the first round of the John Q. Hammons Hotel Classic at Broken Arrow, Okla.

Kim had seven birdies and bogeyed only one hole -- the par-four 11th after coming up short of the green on approach and putting three feet past the hole. Sorenstam, playing for the first time in five weeks, and Ahn were one stroke in front of Reilley Rankin.

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European PGA Tour veteran Des Smyth and television analyst Gary McCord shot seven-under 65s to share the first-round lead at the Kroger Classic in Maineville, Ohio. Tom Kite, David Eger and Doug Tewell were at six under.

The field is one player short of its 78-player complement because Vicente Fernandez evidently forgot he had committed to play and went home to Argentina, a Champions Tour spokesman said.

Motor Racing

Ryan Newman will start tonight's NASCAR Nextel Cup Series Chevy Rock and Roll 400 at Richmond, Va., on the pole, the perfect place to be for the last event before NASCAR resets the field and begins the 10-race playoff.

Newman, who qualified first with a lap at 128.700 mph in his Dodge, is in eighth place in the point standings. But one mistake could knock him out of the top 10 and disqualify him from racing for the Nextel Cup title.

Mark Martin, currently holding the 10th and final spot in the race for the chase, qualified second with a lap at 127.407 mph in a Ford.

Robby Gordon went from third to first in a three-car battle with 15 laps to go and held off Casey Atwood's charge the rest of the way at Richmond, Va., for his first NASCAR Busch Series victory.

Gordon, running third in his Chevrolet as Atwood and series leader Martin Truex Jr. dueled for the lead on the 235th lap, slid under both for the lead when Truex's Chevrolet wiggled into Atwood's, sending both wide in the turn.

Atwood regained his command and quickly pulled behind Gordon, but Gordon repeatedly closed off Atwood's favored outside lane and won the Emerson Radio 250 by 0.177 of a second.

Pro Basketball

Rookie Lindsay Whalen scored 21 points to help the Connecticut Sun beat the host New York Liberty, 77-66, and move into a tie for first place in the Eastern Conference of the WNBA with Charlotte.... Teresa Edwards scored 18 points and the Minnesota Lynx beat the Seattle Storm, 64-61, at Minneapolis. The Lynx moved into sole possession of third place in the Western Conference, one game behind Seattle.... LaToya Thomas scored all 21 of her points in the second half at Indianapolis, helping the San Antonio Silver Stars beat the Indiana Fever, 82-65. The Silver Stars shot 59%, the best shooting performance in the league this season.

Soccer

Jordan Cila and Kyle Beckerman scored second-half goals to give the Colorado Rapids a 3-1 victory over the Kansas City Wizards in an MLS game at Denver.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines defeated St. Kitts and Nevis, 1-0, at Kingstown, St. Vincent, in a World Cup qualifier delayed two days by Hurricane Ivan. Rodney Jack scored in the 23rd minute.

Trinidad and Tobago (2-1) leads Group C of the semifinals of North and Central America and the Caribbean with six points, three ahead of Mexico (1-0) and St. Vincent (1-1). St. Kitts (0-2) is last.

Boxing

Representatives of Vitali Klitschko said he would defend his World Boxing Council title against Danny Williams in December. It would be the first defense of the title that Klitschko won against Corrie Sanders at Staples Center in April.

Williams moved into the No. 10 ranking by the WBC after his upset over Mike Tyson on July 30 in Louisville, Ky. Williams stopped the former champion in the fourth round.

Miscellany

Former major league catcher Chad Kreuter has been named volunteer assistant coach for the USC baseball team, Trojan Coach Mike Gillespie announced.

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