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GOLF ROUNDUP

Weir shaves strokes in a 61

August 30, 2008|From the Associated Press

Mike Weir shaved his "playoff beard" when his wife and children flew in this week, but that had no bearing on his golf Friday. This was a round to enjoy, not explain.

Weir birdied the first four holes and one-putted his final nine greens in the Deutsche Bank Championship to tie the course record at TPC Boston with a 10-under 61 at Norton, Mass., the lowest round of his PGA Tour career.

Weir had a three-shot lead over a group of four players that included Vijay Singh, whose victory last week at The Barclays put him atop the standings in the PGA Tour playoffs for the FedEx Cup.

Singh previously had the TPC Boston course record to himself, a 61 in the third round two years ago. And the Fijian set the tone for a day of low scores when he ran off five birdies in a six-hole stretch for a 64.

It took Weir only 10 holes to catch him.

"There was no indication on the putting green when I was warming up that was going to tell me it was going to be like that," Weir said. "It just felt normal. Just one of those days where I made about a 15-footer on the first hole, another on the second hole. . . . I just kind of built on that momentum.

"I just tried to keep the pedal down, because I knew the scores were pretty low."

John Merrick, Heath Slocum and Briny Baird joined Singh at 64, while Ben Curtis, Ernie Els and Jim Furyk were in a large group another stroke back. More than half of the 115-man field shot in the 60s, and only 23 failed to break par.

The worst score belonged to British Open and PGA champion Padraig Harrington, who was in decent shape in the fairway on the par-five 18th until trying to play out of a water hazard, hitting another shot off a rock and into the water and missing a six-foot putt on his way to a triple-bogey eight.

That gave him a four-over 75, and a candidate to miss the cut for the second straight week in the playoffs.

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Hale Irwin shot a six-under 66 at Del Monte for a share of the lead in the suspended first round of the Wal-Mart First Tee Open at Pebble Beach.

Fuzzy Zoeller, Loren Roberts and Chip Beck also opened with 66s at Del Monte, and Andy Bean had a 66 at Pebble Beach.

After three fog delays at Pebble Beach, tournament officials stopped the first round with 19 players still on the course.

The 63-year-old Irwin, the Champions Tour's career leader with 45 victories, had a bogey-free round in sunny conditions at Del Monte.

"It wasn't the kind of ball-striking I would have liked to have had," said Irwin, the 2005 winner. "There were a few fakeouts, but it's good not to get too exasperated. It's a relatively short course with a few silly shots."

The fifth-year event, which pairs each pro with a junior golfer in a simultaneously held team competition, is the only Champions Tour event played on multiple courses.

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Gregory Havret shot a two-under 71 to hold a one-stroke lead after the second round of the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles, Scotland, and Colin Montgomerie had a 70 to boost his chance of a Ryder Cup selection.

Montgomerie, the veteran of eight Ryder Cup teams, needs a victory or close to it to persuade European captain Nick Faldo to make him one of the two wild-card picks Sunday. The Europeans will defend their Ryder Cup title against the Americans next month at Valhalla near Louisville, Ky.

Montgomerie was tied for 13th, five strokes off the lead.

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