Campbell sloshes into lead at rain-plagued Nissan Open

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Considering the amount of rain that soaked Riviera in Los Angeles, Chad Campbell didn't expect to complete his second round Friday in the Nissan Open. The bigger surprise was where he finished.

Equipped with a vastly improved short game, Campbell nearly holed out two shots and only came close to a bogey once in a round of 6-under 65 that gave him a three-shot lead over Robert Allenby (67).

Whether he keeps that lead won't be determined until today.

A four-hour rain delay in the morning made it certain that first-round leader Brian Davis, Tiger Woods and the rest of the late starters would have to return today and face a long day -- weather permitting.

Davis, who opened with a 65, had the last tee time. He was about to hit his opening tee shot on No. 10 when the siren sounded to suspend the second round because of darkness. None of the late starters finished even nine holes.

Woods, whose 67 was his best start ever at Riviera, missed a 4-foot eagle putt on his opening hole and let another one get away by missing a 10-foot birdie on the third hole. He was at 5 under, and faced 31 holes on Saturday.

Two-time defending champion Mike Weir shot a 73, leaving him seven shots behind in his quest to become the first player to win the tournament three straight times.

Champions Tour

Curtis Strange got off to a slow start in his Champions Tour debut, shooting a 2-over 74 to fall eight strokes behind first-round leaders R.W. Eaks and Mike McCullough in the ACE Group Classic in Naples, Fla.

Strange had four birdies, four bogeys and a double bogey. The two-time U.S. Open champion, a television analyst for most of the past eight seasons, won 17 PGA Tour titles, highlighted by his 1988 and 1989 U.S. Open victories.

Hale Irwin, coming off a victory in Hawaii, opened with a 67, and Ron Streck, Wayne Levi, Jim Thorpe, Jerry Pate and Leonard Thompson had 68s. Defending champion Craig Stadler shot a 73.

European PGA Tour

Defending champion Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand shot a 6-under 66 to take a two-stroke lead in the Malaysian Open in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Thongchai, the first Thai winner on the European tour, had a 14-under 130 total on the Saujana course. Denmark's Thomas Bjorn (64) was second at 12 under, a stroke ahead of Sweden's Henrik Stenson (64) and Thailand's Prom Meesawat (65).

Nationwide Tour

Australia's Steve Bowditch shot his second straight 5-under 67 to take a five-stroke lead in the Jacob's Creek Open in Adelaide, Australia.

Australia's Greg Chalmers (71), the 1998 Australian Open winner at Royal Adelaide, was tied for second with Nationwide Tour regulars Chris Tidland (68), Keoke Cotner (70), Dan Olsen (70), Brent Schwarzrock (69) and Brian Kortan (70).

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