Originally created 11/27/02

Woods takes lead, continues dominance at Grand Slam



POIPU BEACH, Hawaii -- Masters and U.S. Open champion Tiger Woods shot a 6-under-par 66 Tuesday to take a three-stroke lead over Justin Leonard in the PGA Grand Slam of Golf.

Davis Love III and PGA Championship winner Rich Beem opened with a 72 in the 36-hole event for the year's major champions.

With Woods winning two majors and British Open champion Ernie Els withdrawing from the event, Love and Leonard gained invitations based on their finishes in the majors.

Woods, who is seeking his fifth consecutive Grand Slam title, put pressure on his opponents early en route to his bogey-free round. He made the turn at 31 to take a two-stroke lead over Leonard and Love.

Woods' front nine included an eagle on the 524-yard No. 2 and birdies on Nos. 4, 6 and 7. He played remained steady on the back nine, and he added a birdie on the 537-yard 14th hole.

On the eagle, Woods blasted a 343-yard drive and hit an 8-iron within 25 feet of the cup. He sank the putt, drawing a roar from the gallery.

Leonard drew within a stroke of with a birdie on No. 11, but Woods got a stroke back three holes later. Leonard then carded his first bogey on No. 17 by lipping a 3-foot putt.

In balmy and relatively calm conditions at the 7,081-yard oceanside Poipu Bay Golf Course on the island of Kauai, Davis had three birdies on the front nine. But he ran into trouble on the backside, bogeying four times, including three of the final four holes.

Beem opened his round with a birdie on the 428-yard, par-3 first hole, but lost a stroke on the 209-yard third after his approach shot landed in the right bunker. He parred the next 10 holes, added a birdie on No. 14 and a bogey on No. 16.

While Love, Leonard and Woods went with their traditional golf attire, Beem went Hawaiian style - to the extreme.

He wore golf shoes with a hula dancer airbrushed on one side and palm trees on the other. It complemented his untucked floral aloha shirt and his driver head painted in a colorful Hawaiian print.

But it was Woods who caught the crowd's attention by continuing his dominance.

Woods this season became the first player to win both the PGA Player of the Year and Vardon Trophy honors for the fourth straight year. He also topped the money list for the fourth straight year with $6,912,625 on the PGA Tour.

Woods won last year's Grand Slam by finishing with a record 12-under 132 total for a three-stroke victory over David Toms.

The winner will receive $400,000 from the $1 million purse.

Divots: After TNT commentator and former NBA star Charles Barkley questioned Woods' listed height of 6-foot-2, Woods responded by saying, "Every program said you were 6-6. You're no more than 6-4 on a good day."