HSBC Champions: Dougherty, Howell share lead

Tiger Woods hit a 3-wood into the water but saved par on the last hole and was two shots off the pace after two rounds at the HSBC Champions tournament.

updated: February 25, 2007 10:53 IST
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Tiger Woods hit a 3-wood into the water but saved par on the last hole Friday and was two shots off the pace after two rounds at the HSBC Champions tournament. Englishmen Nick Dougherty and David Howell go into the weekend as joint leaders at 12-under. Woods and Australia's Nick O'Hern share third place at 10-under, ahead of a group of five at 9-under. No. 2-ranked Vijay Singh is a stroke further back at 8-under, together with U.S. Open champion Michael Campbell, K.J. Choi, Thomas Bjorn and Peter O'Malley. Consecutive birdies Woods made a charge on the back nine with three consecutive birdies from the 13th to the 15th to get to 11-under before he bogeyed the 16th, duffing a chip into a greenside bunker and then two-putting. He hit a risky second shot into a lake on the right side of the 538-yard, par-5 18th at Sheshan International Golf Club. After taking a drop, Woods saved par with a long, curling putt that just dribbled into the cup to finish the round at 3-under 69, and 10-under overall. Then he breathed a sigh of relief. Woods had bogeyed his last hole on Thursday after hitting his tee shot into a bunker and giving up a share of the first-round lead. Dougherty, who was in a three-way tie with O'Malley and Paul Lawrie for the overnight lead at 8-under, finished with a 68 in the second round. He also saved par on his last hole - the 9th - holing a 20-foot putt from the edge of the green. Bogey-free round Howell had a bogey-free round containing five birdies for a 67. Lawrie, the 1999 British Open winner, had a 4-over round of 75 in the second round, dropping back to 5-under ahead of the weekend. England's Kenneth Ferrie had a hole-in-one, hitting a 4-iron 193 yards that landed eight feet in front of the flag and rolled in at the 6th. He got to 11-under, but hit the first of his four bogeys on the 8th and finished bogey-bogey for a 3-under 69 and 9-under overall. Ferrie marched off the course in a frustrated mood. His playing partner, Paul Casey, closed with consecutive birdies to join Ferrie at 9-under. Colin Montgomerie, who won his eight European Order of Merit almost two weeks ago, was 4-under during his second round but had a bogey and a double-bogey in the last three holes for a 71. He was 1-over after his 71 in the first round. Persistent rain Due to persistent rain, the tournament allowed lift and place rules in the first two rounds, permitting players to pick up and clean their balls without penalty from closely mown areas through the green. It drizzled consistently Friday and rained heavily while Woods was on the 7th, 8th and 9th holes. It was only rain that prevented lower numbers on the newly developed course near Shanghai. The European Tour is opening its 2006 season with this $5 million tournament, which is sanctioned by four tours and is the richest tournament ever in Asia. (AP)