Originally created 12/02/05

Golf roundup

WINTER GARDEN, Fla. -- Augusta's John Engler is right back in the PGA Tour Qualifying Tournament, thanks to a hole-in-one.

Engler aced the 204-yard sixth hole with a 6-iron shot en route to 4-under-par 68 in Thursday's second round on the Crooked Cat course at Orange County National.

Engler, who opened with 73, moved from a tie for 91st to a tie for 28th.

The top 30 finishers and ties after the 108-hole event ends Monday earn PGA Tour cards for 2006. The balance earn status on the Nationwide Tour. There are 164 players in the field.

Engler, a former Clemson All-American, had four birdies and two bogeys to go with the ace.

Augusta native Larry Mize, the 1987 Masters Tournament champion, also moved into the top 30. Mize, tied for 72nd after an opening 72, had a second-round 69 and is tied for 28th place.

Also at 28th place is Aiken's Matt Hendrix, who followed a 67 with 74.

Former Thomson resident Franklin Langham also had 74 on Thursday. He opened with 66 and is now tied for 14th place.

Augusta's Richard Johnson shot his second consecutive 71 and went from a tie for 50th place to a tie for 43rd.

Augusta's Scott Parel went from 76 to 69 and is now tied for 91st place. He had been tied for 142nd place.

Former Augustan Stiles Mitchell is tied for 142nd after rounds of 73-76.

First-round leader Michael Allen increased his lead to six shots after shooting 68. He opened with 64.

Nedbank Challenge: In Sun City, South Africa, Ernie Els got pretty much what he expected from his return to competitive golf 4½ months after injuring his left knee.

"It felt like my first round back," said Els, who shot even-par 72. "I hit some funny shots, but my knee stood up very well."

Els, hurt in a boating accident in July, is five shots behind Darren Clarke.

"It was the good, the bad and the ugly out there," Els, a two-time U.S. Open champion joked. "But at least I never shot myself out of the tournament."

Clarke shot 67 to lead Jim Furyk by one stroke. Tim Clark, Retief Goosen and Luke Donald are three strokes off the lead at Gary Player Country Club. Goosen is the defending champion.

Of other notables, Stewart Cink shot 73, Sergio Garcia had 74 and Kenny Perry 76

HONG KONG Open: In Hong Kong, South Korea's Kang Wook-soon had five consecutive birdies on the back nine to take the first-round lead in the event jointly sanctioned by the European and Asian tours.

Kang finished with six birdies for 6-under-par 64, giving him a one-stroke lead over India's Jyoti Randhawa, Canada's Rick Gibson and Sweden's Martin Erlandsson.

Three golfers share third place with 66 s - France's Francois Delamontagne, England's Richard McEvoy and Denmarks' Soren Kjeldsen.

Defending champion Miguel Angel Jimenez of Spain had 69, as did Colin Montgomerie.

Australian PGA: In Coolum, rain and lightning forced organizers to suspend the opening round after only 11 players completed their rounds.

Play was stopped before midday, with last week's Australian Open winner Robert Allenby at 3 under after 12 holes. One-under-par 71 leads in the clubhouse. CutlineThemba Hadebe/associated press

Nedbank Challenge leader Darren Clarke missed this birdie putt on No. 17, but still shot 67 for a one-shot lead. The tournament

is being played at Gary Player Country Club in South Africa.


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