Originally created 05/27/06

Stiles rides wind to lead



MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Darron Stiles grabbed a two-stroke lead with 6-under-par 64 on Friday after the second round of the St. Jude Classic, where winds gusting to 20 mph for a second consecutive day played havoc with the dry fairways and hard greens at the TPC at Southwind.

Tim Herron, who won at Colonial last week, shot 65 and was tied with Tom Pernice (68) and first-round leader Chris Smith (71) at 135. David Toms (67), Brian Gay (67) and Camilo Villegas (66) were at 136.

Herron said the course was playing a bit like Colonial where he won in a playoff.

"I hit a 3-iron off 18 today, which I haven't done in years here. Usually we just don't get the wind," Herron said.

The cut, at 4-over 144 , was the highest since this event moved here in 1989.

All three players with Augusta ties missed the cut. Augusta native Larry Mize shot 76-73-149, former Augusta resident Stiles Mitchell had 76-74-150 and Augusta resident John Engler shot 80-72-152.

CORNING CLASSIC: In Corning, N.Y., Virada Nirapathpongporn sure isn't playing like a rookie.

The 24-year-old former Duke star, who won the 2002 NCAA title and 2003 U.S. Women's Amateur, shot 5-under-par 67 to take sole possession of the lead after two rounds of the LPGA Tour event.

Nirapathpongporn, a native of Thailand, is at 11-under 133, one shot ahead of Brandie Burton (68) and first-round co-leader Nancy Scranton (69).

Another stroke behind is former Georgia golfer Vicki Goetze-Ackerman, who had a bogey-free 68 and is tied at 135 with Jeong Jang (69).

Morgan Pressel, who struggled to 74 in the first round, rebounded with 64, the best round of the day, to surge into contention in her first tournament as a high school graduate.

She is tied with Se Ri Pak (67) and three others at 138.

BMW CHAMPIONSHIP: In Virginia Water, England, David Howell shot 7-under-par 65 for a three-stroke lead in the rain-delayed European Tour event.

Howell, shrugging off the effects of a bad back that forced him to miss the Irish Open last week, had eight birdies and a bogey for an 11-under 133 total.

Heavy rain forced a one-hour delay at the start of play, and the second round was not completed. It will be finished today.

59: In Agadir, Morocco, French golfer Adrien Mork shot the first official 59 in the history of the European Tour during the Moroccan Classic Challenge Tour event.