Inclement weather hampers NEC Inv.

Saturday, August 21, 2004

AKRON, Ohio -- David Toms finished at 4 under 66 just ahead of a downpour Friday during the second round of the NEC Invitational, leaving him the clubhouse leader.

Toms was at 5 under 135, although still three shots behind Stewart Cink.

Cink played eight holes in the morning to polish off a 7-under 63. He was at 8 under and facing a 25-foot birdie putt on the 11th hole when play was suspended.

The PGA Tour decided to wait until the first round was completed before issuing new tee times, and only 24 players finished the second round.

Rory Sabbatini (through 13 holes), Rod Pampling (12 holes) and Chris DiMarco (12 holes) also were at 5 under, while Zach Johnson was another stroke back through 10 holes.

Tiger Woods looks as if he'll hang on to his No. 1 ranking for at least another week because those chasing him are faltering. Woods, a three-time winner at Firestone, ended his first round Friday morning with a bogey for a 68, his highest opening round in seven appearances at Firestone.

Vijay Singh, who only needed to finish higher than Woods at Firestone to become No. 1 for the first time in his career, was 5 over for the tournament with three holes left.

Ernie Els made two double bogeys on the back nine to finish off his first-round 72, and already was 6 over par for the second round through 15 holes. Phil Mickelson had a 75 on Friday and was 5 over.


DUBLIN, Ohio -- Despite more rain, Suzann Pettersen shot a 4 under 68 for a one-shot lead at the Wendy's Championship for Children.

More than an inch of rain pounded the Tartan Fields Golf Club throughout the day, suspending play late in the afternoon -- as was the case in the first round.

Pettersen, one of 66 players unable to complete the first round Thursday, capped an opening 67 with two pars and a birdie early Friday. She continued playing nearly flawless golf, avoiding a bogey in both rounds, despite the stoppages in play, heavy rains, lightning and thunder.

Defending champion Hee-Won Han and Reilly Rankin were one shot back. Han finished off a 66 and then followed with a 70, while Rankin followed an opening 71 with a second-round 65.

Teenage amateurs Paula Creamer and Michelle Wie also moved up on the leaderboard.

The 18-year-old Creamer was at 2 under 142 after a second-round 70. Wie, 14, was 3 over through 10 holes of the first round and finished at 73. She shot 69 in the second round to share 15th place with Creamer.

U.S. Amateur

MAMARONECK, N.Y. -- Ryan Moore moved into the semifinals of the U.S. Amateur with a 3 and 2 victory over Jason Hartwick at Winged Foot Golf Club.

Already a champion in three prestigious amateur events -- NCAA Division I, U.S. Amateur Public Links and the Western Amateur -- Moore will oppose Jeff Overton in Saturday's semifinals.

Overton, a senior at Indiana, advanced with a 2 up win over Andrew Svoboda, the four-time Winged Foot club champion from Stamford, Conn.

In the other semifinal, Chris Nallen of Hackettstown, N.J., beat Dayton Rose of Midwest City, Okla., 6 and 5. Nallen will play Luke List of Ringgold, Ga.

List, a sophomore at Vanderbilt, was a 3 and 2 winner over 47-year-old Danny Green, who was the oldest player in the field.

The 36-hole final is Sunday.

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