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GOLF ROUNDUP

Long Birdie Helps Furyk

April 15, 2006|From the Associated Press

Jim Furyk added his own touch to Harbour Town's famous 18th hole Friday, rolling in a 56-foot birdie putt for a two-shot lead in the Verizon Heritage hours after Aaron Baddeley's unlikely eagle there.

Putting from the back fringe, Furyk had simply hoped for a good lag and an easy par on the final hole at Hilton Head Island, S.C. Instead, he watched his ball strike the flagstick and fall in. His four-under-par 67 left him at 11-under 131, two strokes in front of Baddeley (67), Brian Gay (67), Duffy Waldorf (68) and first-round leader Vaughn Taylor (70).

Furyk's long birdie also added to the Friday fireworks near the lighthouse hole.

Baddeley capped a late charge -- three birdies and the eagle in his final five holes -- at the seaside hole featuring Sea Pines' red-and-white striped lighthouse as a backdrop.

Baddeley struck a smooth eight-iron about 160 yards that hit the green and bounced into the cup. The 25-year-old Australian heard the crowd's cheers and wondered how close he'd gotten.

"When I got up there, the ball wasn't anywhere to be seen," Baddeley said.

Tournament officials said Baddeley's was the third eagle on the hole since 1983.

Furyk had birdies on four of his first seven holes to take the lead. However, bogeys on the eighth and ninth holes backed him into a tie with Baddeley.

"I wanted to hit good shots and put the ball on the green and stop the bleeding at that point," Furyk said.

That's what he did, moving in front again with a birdie on the 15th hole. After getting fooled by the wind on his last hole, Furyk said he "got a little extra bonus" with the long birdie.

Jeff Maggert tied the mark for lowest back-nine score at 29. Maggert finished with a 66 to reach seven under.

*

Lorena Ochoa shot a four-under 68 in windy conditions at Las Vegas to take a two-stroke lead over Brittany Lincicome in the Takefuji Classic.

After an opening 63 in ideal conditions the previous day, Ochoa didn't tee off until noon and had to contend with afternoon gusts that whipped the flags on the greens around. She was at 13-under 131 through two days of the 54-hole tournament.

Lincicome completed most of her round of 65 before the wind kicked up. So did Paula Creamer and Seon Hwa Lee, both three strokes back at 10 under. Creamer shot a 64, and Lee had a 67. Shi Hyun Ahn (70) was four shots off Ochoa's pace.

The sky was overcast and, although only a few drops of rain fell during the day, play was halted for 38 minutes in the afternoon because of lightning.

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