Originally created 06/26/04

Scott sets 36-hole record, takes lead at Booz Allen



POTOMAC, Md. -- A 61 and a 62 were already in the books over two days at the Booz Allen Classic when Glen Day made a serious charge toward the 50s. Then the weather took over.

After a day-and-a-half of perfect conditions and impeccable greens that led to several course records, play was halted for nearly 2 hours late Friday by lightning and rain.

Day was at 10 under for his round at the time, having holed a lob wedge from 88 yards for an eagle at the par-5 6th. He needed two birdies in his last three holes to match the all-time PGA Tour record of 59.

All that time to think - plus the wind that had kicked up by the time he resumed - helped doom Day to a par-bogey-par finish. He had a 9-under 62 and a 131 total, tied for fourth, three strokes behind Adam Scott, whose 14-under 128 set a 36-hole course record.

"I would have enjoyed playing the last three holes without a delay," Day said. "Now that's not saying that I may have had a chance to do something great or not, but it was there. We got the delay, came back out, and then it just kind of like, 'OK, let's finish this."'

The siren that stopped play sounded as Day was finishing his swing at the tee on No. 7, and the shot landed in the rough. When he resumed, he put his approach into a greenside bunker, but he nearly salvaged an improbable birdie when he hit the pin with his blast from the sand.

Day was in a bunker again after the wind messed with his choice of club on a tweener-distance approach to the par-4 8th, ending his run at history.

"I would have had to finish birdie-birdie," said Day, whose only PGA Tour victory came in 1999. "Sure it could happen, but as soon as I had the yardage on 8, it was kind of all over."

Scott, finishing well before the storm, also shot a 62 and his 128 total topped the 36-hole TPC at Avenel record of 130 set by Fred Funk in 1998. Two shots behind were Olin Browne and Charles Howell III, who would have tied Funk's record had Scott not bettered them in a round in which he putted just 28 times and hit all 18 greens in regulation.

Scott paused more than once trying to remember all nine of his birdies.

"That's a nice problem to have," said the 23-year-old Australian, who won the Players Championship in March. "At the start of the week, I thought there were birdies out there. I think the guys are going to keep it going for the weekend."

Howell set the 18-hole record on Thursday with a 61 under conditions especially enticing after last weekend's difficult U.S. Open. He followed with a 69 on Friday.

"Any time you shoot 10 under, there is still a weird feeling about the following day," Howell said. "At the same time, I've got a chance here going into the weekend, which is not something I have been able to say very often this year."

Rich Beem, the 1999 champion, had a 67 was tied with Day for fourth, while Tom Lehman (67) was sixth with a 133. Anyone who wasn't under par didn't make the cut.

While Day and Browne represent the veterans on the leaderboard, Scott and Howell are the next generation. They are pals from their recent college days, when Scott played for UNLV and Howell for Oklahoma State. Howell gave Scott tips on a course his friend had never seen when they played a practice round Tuesday.

"I might should have told him a few other things - like where not to hit it," Howell joked.

These days, Howell's best friend on the tour is Tiger Woods, who gave Howell a call Thursday night to congratulate him on his 61.

"Tiger probably would have followed up the 61 with another 61," Howell said. "I'm still learning that one. He just said, 'Good playing; keep playing well.' We talk a lot of times not even about golf. He's a fantastic friend."