Maruyama rides birdie binge into lead at Nelson Classic

Saturday, May 11, 2002

IRVING, Texas -- Shigeki Maruyama demonstrated the growing Asian presence on PGA Tour leaderboards, making four straight birdies Friday on his way to a 7-under 63 and a two-stroke lead in the Byron Nelson Classic.

Maruyama, who won the Greater Milwaukee Open last year to become the first Japanese player to win a tour event on the mainland, birdied on two of his last three holes on the TPC at Las Colinas. He had a 10-under 130 total.

A week ago, K.J. Choi became the first South Korean to win on tour with his four-stroke victory in New Orleans.

Paul Stankowski, who lives in nearby Flower Mound, had a 65 on the Cottonwood Valley course and was two strokes behind at 132, along with Jim Carter (67).

Two other guys also seem to have a strong presence every week -- Phil Mickelson, in contention yet again at 7 under after a 64 that featured two eagles; and Tiger Woods, who was below the cut line when the round started.

Woods had a 65 on the TPC course for a 4-under 136 total. He not only made the cut for the 87th consecutive tour event but gave himself a decent chance of winning his third title of the year.

Elsewhere

  • TD WATERHOUSE CHAMPIONSHIP: John Schroeder shot a 4-under 68 in his first tournament since having hernia surgery for a share of the lead in the TD Waterhouse Championship in Kansas City, Mo.

    Bob Eastwood, who holed out twice from off the green, and defending champion Ed Dougherty also opened with 68s on the Tiffany Greens course.

    Hale Irwin, the Senior PGA Tour's leading money-winner, was a stroke back at 69 along with seven other players.

  • BENSON AND HEDGES INTERNATIONAL: Scotland's Colin Montgomerie shot a 5-under 67 for a share of the lead in the Benson and Hedges International, while John Daly was a stroke back.

    Montgomerie matched England's Greg Owen (71) and South Africa's Roger Wessels (69) at 6-under 138 on The Belfry's Brabazon Course in Sutton ColdField, England, the site of the Ryder Cup matches in September.

  • Aerus Electrolux USA Championship: Brandie Burton, working her way back from her third shoulder surgery, shot a 3-under 69 to take a one-stroke lead over Annika Sorenstam in the suspended second round of the Aerus Electrolux USA Championship in Franklin, Tenn.

    Burton, who took eight months off last year for surgery, had five birdies and two bogeys on the soggy Ironhorse Course at the Legends Club. She had an 8-under 136 total.

    -- From wire reports

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