Originally created 01/25/03

Frazar, Petrovic tied after two rounds



SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- First-round leader Harrison Frazar remained in good position to get his first PGA Tour victory when he birdied the next-to-last hole Friday to share with Tom Petrovic the second-round lead in the Phoenix Open.

Petrovic, also looking for his first title, shot a career-low, 8-under-par 63 that left him at 13-under 129. But Frazar, a late starter on the back nine, rolled a 12-foot birdie putt into the center of the cup on No. 8, a 470-yard par-4, and caught up with a 67.

"Early in the day I knew Tim was 13 under, and I felt like that was going to be a pretty good number," Frazar said.

Steve Stricker, Luke Donald, Scott McCarron, John Rollins and John Huston were two shots back.

Stricker, the defending Match Play champion, matched the 62 Frazar shot Thursday.

McCarron had a 65, Donald and Rollins shot 66s and Huston carded a 67.

Alex Cejka and Chad Campbell shot 65s on the way to 132, where J.J. Henry also landed after a 67.

International stars and major winners Vijay Singh (66) and Retief Goosen (68) were part of a group of five at 133, assuring that some experienced players will be close enough to challenge the newcomers.

Petrovic, one of three former University of Hartford players on the tour, had an eagle, seven birdies, and a bogey.

Jerry Kelly and Patrick Sheehan, another Hartford alumnus, skipped Phoenix after playing at the Sony Open. It was their loss when a second day of good weather produced a sea of red numbers.

Seventy-two players made the cut at 138, and 105 of the 132 who entered broke par.

Petrovic was an All-American in 1988, but took a roundabout road to becoming a PGA Tour regular.

He played the Australasian and Canadian tours, sold car phones, delivered newspapers and worked at a fast-food restaurant before leading the Nationwide Tour in scoring average in 2001.

That earned him a year on the main tour, and he made enough money to keep his card.

He showed the value of his experience, recovering from a bogey 4 on No. 12 - where he three-putted from 45 feet - with a birdie-birdie-eagle sequence to reach 12 under and pass Stricker and Donald.

Petrovic saved the best for last - his 6-iron shot from a bad bunker lie nestled on the green 18 feet from the pin, and he rolled it in for a birdie.

Frazar, one of the last to start, had two birdies before the turn and got within a shot of Petrovic with a birdie on his 12th hole, the only par-5 on the front nine.

Then he went four holes without a birdie opportunity.

"I had different shot patterns, and I wasn't as comfortable with the pin placements," Frazar said about playing conservatively.

Stricker had a tour-record score in mind after getting his sixth consecutive birdie with a short putt on the 15th hole.

"I was 10 under with three to play, so I was thinking if I birdied two of three I could get to 59," he said.

Instead, he parred the next hole and bogeyed the 17th, a 470-yard par-4 where an 8-iron shot he expected to go right drifted left. After a chip, he two-putted from 10 feet.

Divots: Tim Herron holed a 7-iron shot on the 182-yard fourth hole, which Bob Burns aced Thursday. ... Stricker tied his career-low score shot in the 2001 Phoenix second round, and matched K.J. Choi's season-best score at the Mercedes Championships. Choi's score was posted on a par-73 course. ... Nick Price was the first this season with six straight birdies (Mercedes final round). ... Three-time Phoenix champion Mark Calcavecchia had his right knee examined Thursday night, but played the second round. He hurt it walking the course during Wednesday's pro-am.