Originally created 08/14/04

Leonard, Singh shooting Strait



HAVEN, Wis. - Vijay Singh, the long hitter, and Justin Leonard, relatively short but accurate off the tee, share the lead after 36 holes of the 86th PGA Championship.

But Singh said distance won't matter at Whistling Straits. Putting eventually will, and he's as confident as he's ever been on the greens.

Singh (68) and Leonard (69) finished at 9-under-par 135 on Friday and are one shot clear of the field entering today's third round.

Behind them is a varied list of contenders but only one who shares their experience of having won a major championship, Ernie Els (70), who is tied at 8-under with 18-hole leader Darren Clarke (71) and Briny Baird (69).

The stellar performances by Singh and Leonard, who have won three major titles between them, were nearly overshadowed by Tiger Woods' quest to extend his PGA Tour-record streak of cuts made. Woods shot 75 in the first round, and was 3-over-par with six holes to play, two shots off the cut line of 1-over.

However, Woods birdied three of his next five holes and got up-and-down for par from deep rough at No. 18 to shoot 69 and finish at even-par.

However, Woods would still need to have the weekend of his life to catch Singh or Leonard.

Singh birdied three of his first five holes and almost made a 100-foot putt at the 18th green; while Leonard continued his target-shooting at Whistling Strait's winding, asymmetrical fairways.

"Justin is a big-game player," Singh said. "You don't have to be long to play this golf course. You've got to be on the fairways. And nobody is really short any more. Everybody hits the ball a fairly good distance."