Originally created 12/16/06

Woods is on target to claim own event

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. - Tiger Woods played one shot 30 yards in the wrong direction and hit one putt so hard it looked as though it might go off the green. Those turned into pivotal shots on his way to 4-under-par 68 that gave him a one-shot lead Friday in the Target World Challenge.

Trailing by four shots as he approached the turn, Woods holed a 40-foot birdie putt that banged off the back of the cup and went airborne before dropping, added a birdie putt even longer on the next hole and got some help from a few sloppy mistakes by Henrik Stenson.

Woods, the host of the 16-man event at Sherwood Country Club, was at 8-under 136 and in good position to win the $5.75 million tournament for the third time in its eight-year history.

Stenson had four birdies and an unlikely eagle, but two holes dropped him to a 71 that put him at 137.

After a fairway metal hopped out of the bunker and stopped 10 feet behind the hole for an eagle on the par-5 11th, he badly missed the elevated green on the par-3 12th, failed to reach the green and took bogey. Tied for the lead on the par-5 16th, the Swede missed the green to the left, chipped across the green into a bunker and took bogey.

SOUTH AFRICAN OPEN: In Port Elizabeth, South Africa, Patrik Sjoland of Sweden shot a course-record 8-under 64, making birdies on his last four holes to take a one-stroke lead at the halfway point.

Sjoland was at 12-under 132 after two rounds on the links course. Ernie Els (66) and Trevor Immelman (66) were at 133, with Retief Goosen (66) and Andrew Raitt (68) at 135.

Goosen birdied Nos. 15 and 16 and then eagled No. 17, the hole on which he carded an 11 in the first round.

Els chipped in for an eagle on No. 16 and birdied No. 17 to share the lead with Immelman. Then Sjoland closed in a surge.

LEXUS CUP: In Singapore, Annika Sorenstam and Carin Koch beat Joo Mi Kim and Sakura Yokomine 3 and 2 in alternate-shot play to help the International team tie Asia 3-3 after the first round.

Sorenstam and Koch overcame an early two-hole deficit to beat Kim and Yokomine on Tanah Merah Country Club's renovated Garden Course.

The teams will play six best-ball matches today.


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