Originally created 02/11/06

Weir in control at Pebble Beach



PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. - Mike Weir birdied the closing three holes at Poppy Hills to finish with 5-under-par 67 on Friday, moving into the lead at the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.

Weir, a Canadian now living in Utah, started slow and went out on the back nine at even par for the day. But after the turn he moved briskly up the leaderboard as first-round leader Luke Donald sputtered through his round at Pebble Beach.

Donald scorched Spyglass Hill on Thursday, matching Phil Mickelson's course record 62. But he failed to capitalize on that quick start and turned in even-par 72 Friday, giving him a total of 134 going into today's play.

Aaron Oberholser carded 68 and is in second at 11-under.

Vijay Singh and Chris DiMarco looked to make up ground on Donald and Weir early at Spyglass Hill, but came up short as the tough, tree-lined course challenged them to keep their drives straight.

Their foursome started on the par-4 No. 10 at Spyglass Hill, and Singh was the first to flinch. He pulled his first drive to the left, and ended up bogeying the hole.

Spyglass held Singh in check and he finished with an up-and-down 1-under 71, for a two-round total of 139.

DiMarco fared only slightly better, going out in even par and finishing with 69 and a total of 137 heading into today.

Weir continued his solid play from Thursday, hitting nine of 13 fairways and making both of his sand save opportunities in the second round.

He missed only one fairway and two greens in the first round at Stillwater Cove, finishing with 9-under 63.

Mickelson shot 2-over 74 at Spyglass Hill for a halfway total of 141.

JOHNNIE WALKER CLASSIC: In Perth, Australia, K.J. Choi shot 6-under-par 66 for a two-shot lead over Kevin Stadler after the second round.

Choi had six birdies on the fast greens of the $2.1 million event at the Vines Resort and Country Club. Stadler had 69 with an eagle on the 18th, two birdies and a bogey. He had shared the overnight lead with Adam Scott, who slipped four shots back with 71.

Retief Goosen (72), U.S. Open champion Michael Campbell (74) and Colin Montgomerie (74) all missed the cut.

HARMON DIES: In Palm Desert, Calif., Dick Harmon, part of golf's most renowned teaching family and the son of former Masters Tournament champion Claude Harmon, died Friday. He was 58.

Harmon died at Eisenhower Medical Center, hospital spokeswoman Lee Fowler said.

Among his clients were Masters champions Fred Couples and Craig Stadler and former PGA champion Lanny Wadkins.