Originally created 06/29/02

O'Malley leads Irish Open



CORK, Ireland -- Peter O'Malley of Australia fired a 4-under-par 67 to take a one-stroke lead after the second round of the Irish Open on Friday.

O'Malley was 9-under after two rounds on the Fota Island course with three players right behind. Defending champion Colin Montgomerie, who needed medical attention for his back on the ninth tee, and U.S.-based Swede Carl Petterson each had a second straight 67 and Alex Cejka of Germany, who had a 65 for the day's best round, were tied for second.

Des Smyth, the 49-year-old Irishman who will later this year attempt to earn a playing card on next year's U.S. Seniors Tour, shot a 3-under-par 68 and was tied for fifth with Lee Westwood, continuing his resurgence, Mark Pilkington of Wales and Richard S. Johnson of Sweden, two strokes behind O'Malley.

Seve Ballesteros, who has won the Irish Open three times, was disqualified after Thursday's first round after signing an incorrect scorecard. He shot an 89, including a 12 on the final hole. He then withdrew from next month's British Open.

O'Malley, who beat Tiger Woods in the first round of the Accenture Match Play world championship in February, hit every fairway in his round after missing only three in his opening 66.

"That is the key around here. I really haven't made too many mistakes," he said.

Montgomerie, who birdied four of the first eight holes, felt his back go on the eighth and called for a doctor who gave him painkillers.

He then bogeyed Nos. 9, 11 and 12 but three birdies, including the 17th and 18th, rescued his round.

He holed from 35 feet at the 17th, and five feet from the 18th.

"And I had good saves at 15 and 16 so that's four shots better than it might have been. I still think four 67s could win here," he said.

Petterson, who lives in Raleigh, N.C., said he, too, had kept the errors out of his game.

"No mistakes yesterday and no mistakes today. Eight birdies, four each day, and no bogeys. Can't be bad," Petterson said.