Singh, Leonard share 1-shot lead

The Whistling Straits course on the shores of Lake Michigan played host to the second round of the PGA Championships.

updated: February 25, 2007 10:08 IST
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The Whistling Straits course on the shores of Lake Michigan played host to the second round of the PGA Championships. It was an overcast and unseasonably cool day. Some fans, wearing jackets and wrapped in blankets, might have described the weather as downright cold. 1997 British Open winner Justin Leonard proved he had the putting touch early, as he sank a long birdie try on the 10th hole to lowe his score to 7-under par. Leonard, who must win to have any chance of making the U-S Ryder Cup team, holed a couple of 25-foot birdie putts in a solid round of 69 that put him at 9-under 135 and in the final group on Saturday with Singh. Padraig Harrington did his best to stay with the leaders. The Irishman made birdie on the number one hole, and was able to drop his score to 5-under par. Staggered putting stance Briny Baird, using that staggered putting stance, stands one shot back of the lead. The American veteran sank a nice birdie putt on the 14th hole to reach 9-under par. Baird is winless in 102 career starts on the PGA Tour. First round leader Ernie Els did well with his short game. The 'Big Easy' made birdie on three of his first four holes. Approach shot The South African played a marvellous approach shot on the 5th hole to set up a birdie. He sunk the putt to lower his score to 9-under par and took the outright lead. Els, who could move to No. 1 in the world by finishing second in this tournament, had control of the tournament with four birdies on his first 10 holes to reach 10 under - but he let it slip away with a couple of wayward drives on the par 5s, making bogey on both of them for a 70. Recovery shot Later in his round, Els played a brilliant recovery shot from an awkward stance. However, his delicate chip on the 6th hole stopped an agonising few centimetres from the cup. Perhaps the best shot of the round was played by Robert Gamez, who made a hole-in-one on the 17th hole. Before he lost some shots later in the round, Scott Verplank, from below the hole on number two, was able to hole out his chip to lower his score to 6-under par. But the American ended the second round at just 1-under par. Missing the cut Tiger Woods played most of the day, in danger of missing the cut. The world number one had made 128 consecutive cuts, and had never missed the cut in a major as a professional. But Tiger seemed lost for much of the round. After his tee shot on the 4th hole found the water, his second shot from the wispy grass flew over the water, directly into the thick rough. Mistakes to a minimum Vijay Singh owns a piece of the lead after the second round. The Fijian fired a 68 to hold a share of the lead with Justin Leonard at 9-under par. Desperate to end a 0-for-18 streak in the majors, Singh kept his mistakes to a minimum on another mild day along the shores of Lake Michigan, shooting a 4-under 68 to join Justin Leonard atop the leaderboard. Darren Clarke is in a three way tie for second place at 8-under par with Baird and Els. Clarke, from Northern Ireland, no doubt helped himself greatly, with an 80-foot birdie on the 7th hole for a share of the lead at the time. Clarke smiled broadly after the putt found the cup. Clarke was among four players tied for the lead at one point late in the round, despite misunderstanding his caddie and aiming at the wrong television tower of the par-5 11th, leading to a comical journey through some of Whistling Straits' 1,400 bunkers and giving him a double bogey. He wound up with a 71 and was at 136 along with Els and Briny Baird (69). Tiger Woods is known for mounting a charge on Sunday's to win a tournament. But late on Friday, he mounted a charge just to make it to the weekend. Woods birdied 13, 16 and 17. His birdie on the 17th got him to even par, with the cut at one-over par. Woods, aware of the signifigance of that putt, pumped his first several times. So Woods has now made 129 consecutive cuts. He recorded a round of 69 on Friday - nine shots behind the leaders. (AP)