Originally created 08/19/00

Patient Woods in command



LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Tiger Woods added a 15th club to his bag Friday at Valhalla Golf Club: patience.

It certainly helped in the second round of the 82nd PGA Championship as Woods shot a 5-under 67 on a course soaked by an overnight rain and plagued by slow play.

At the midway point of the year's final major, Woods is in position to capture his third straight major. The PGA Championship record of 17-under par, set by Steve Elkington in 1995, is also coming into sight for the world's top-ranked player.

"I played almost identical to yesterday," Woods said. "Hit a lot of fairways, a lot of greens, and I just really gave myself numerous chances to make birdies."

First-round co-leader Scott Dunlap turned in a solid 68 Friday to stay within one shot of Woods. Davis Love III bogeyed the last two holes to drop into a tie for third place at 7-under with J.P. Hayes and Fred Funk.

Woods turned in another near-flawless performance Friday, making six birdies against one bogey. His lone miscue came on the 17th hole with a three-putt. Through two rounds, Woods has made 13 birdies and only two bogeys.

After his round, Woods headed to the practice tee to work on his game.

"After a brilliant three-putt on 17, that barely caught the hole, on 18 I really wasn't too happy," said Woods, who pumped his fist after getting up-and-down from a buried lie in the bunker for birdie on the final hole.

Dunlap, a journeyman pro who never has won on the PGA Tour, worked his magic on the greens. He saved par on the first two holes with lengthy putts, then dropped in long birdie on Nos. 3, 9 and 10.

"Pretty much played a similar round of golf to what I did yesterday," Dunlap said. "I hit the ball solid and putted as good as I probably have in a long time."

The 37-year-old pro who calls Duluth, Ga., home will get a chance to see Woods up close today. They'll be paired together for the third round.

"I don't think there will be many bookies taking bets on Scott Dunlap," he said with a laugh. "You know, I will just show up and play."

Love, a Sea Island, Ga., resident, was as much as 9-under par before stumbling late.

"I hit bad drives on both 17 and 18. It cost me," said the 1997 PGA winner, who finished with a 69. "I've made maybe two or three putts in two days, and if I can make some putts, it's definitely doable. I'm 7-under and not really happy about it."

Woods, who is trying to become the first golfer to win three majors in the same year since Ben Hogan did so in 1953, said he was satisfied with his play.

"Well, if you are shooting 11-under par two days in a major, you should be leading," he said. "If you are not, hats off to that person."

The 24-year-old, who won the U.S. Open by 15 shots and the British Open by eight shots earlier this summer, joked that his game was "going downhill." In those events, he held 36-hole leads of six and three shots, respectively.

Once again, not all players were able to complete their rounds Friday. A one-hour delay greeted players after more than three inches of rain was recorded overnight. In Thursday's opening round, which had no weather delays, it took some groups more than six hours to play. Eighteen players were forced to finish Friday morning.

Play was suspended by darkness at 8:36 p.m. Friday with 11 players left on the course. Thomson native Franklin Langham was one of the last players to finish, shooting 71 for a 36-hole total of 1-under 143 to comfortably make the projected cut of 3-over 147.

Tom Scherrer withdrew after play was suspended.

Friday's average round was about five hours, said Kerry Haigh, senior director of tournaments for the PGA of America. Several groups were timed for slow play, but no penalties were issued.

"The pace of play (Friday) was significantly better than (Thursday)," Haigh said. "Temperatures and (cooler) weather had a big bearing on that."