Stiles takes two-stroke lead

Darron Stiles grabbed a two-stroke lead with a six-under 64 in the second round of the St Jude Classic on Friday.

Updated: February 25, 2007 11:34 IST
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Memphis:Darron Stiles grabbed a two-stroke lead with a six-under 64 in the second round of the St Jude Classic on Friday. He turned in eight birdies with a double-bogey for a 133 total through 36 holes, giving him only his second lead on the US PGA Tour and his first by himself. He shared the first-round lead here in 2003 with Jay Haas and Richard Johnson. Tim Herron, who won at Colonial last week, shot a 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. High cut The cut at four-over was the highest since this event moved here in 1989, two strokes higher than the two-over in the first year and only the third time the cut has come over par. That proves changes are working to toughen the TPC at Southwind course which yielded 26 under as the winning score for John Cook in 1996 and 20 under when Toms won in 2003. After the 2004 event, 200 yards were added in length, par lowered a stroke to 70, and the Bentgrass greens swapped out with Champion Bermuda. Only Stiles and Pernice got as low as seven under, but Stiles was the only one who got there twice and stayed there using his putter to hole five birdies from 12 feet or longer. Lofty shot Stiles birdied five of his first seven holes to grab a share of the lead with Smith at six under, and he birdied his 10th hole, the par-four No 1 with a 12-footer. He double-bogeyed the par-four No 5 by trying to loft his tee shot with some help from the wind only to hit some trees, and he three-putted from 20 feet. He rebounded with birdies on Nos 6 and 9, the last after he hit a pitching wedge from 123 yards out to four feet of the hole to get back to seven under. Pernice ruined a strong start with four birdies in his first eight holes with a double-bogey and three bogeys before rebounding with an eagle and a birdie down the stretch. Leader's position Smith had a two-stroke lead after the first round and stayed atop the leaderboard as he balanced two bogeys with two birdies on his first nine. Stiles caught him on his seventh hole, and Smith bogeyed and dropped to five under when a six-iron rolled off the middle of the green on the par-four No 5. Herron had seven birdies and two bogeys in a round that was two strokes off his best score on this course. (AP)

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