Stiles takes lead in Buick Championship

Updated: 25 February 2007 10:35 IST

Golfer Darron Stiles made a ten-foot birdie putt on his final hole to shake free from the crowded pack in the Buick Championship on Friday.

Stiles takes lead in Buick Championship

Cromwell:

Golfer Darron Stiles made a ten-foot birdie putt on his final hole to shake free from the crowded pack in the Buick Championship on Friday.Stiles shot his second straight four-under 66 to take a one-stroke lead over Peter Lonard, with 25 players within four strokes of the lead - including three who have won on the TPC at River Highlands.Lonard followed his opening 65 with a 68, while former champions Stewart Cink (65) and Notah Begay III (66) were six under along with Scott Verplank (69) and Todd Fischer (68). Another former champion, Brent Geiberger (68), was in a group of six at five under."I'm not playing those guys. I'm playing the golf course," said Stiles said. "Whoever beats the golf course the best over those 36 holes is going to win." Tour winStiles is looking for his first US PGA Tour win since joining the tour in 2003. He was the 36-hole leader last month in Memphis en route to a tie for 22nd.One off the lead to begin the round on Friday, Stiles was even through nine holes then birdied the first three holes after the turn. He tied Lonard at seven under with a birdie on the par-four, 429-yard fourth hole, his 12th after starting on the back nine. Stiles hit his approach from 147 yards to six inches and tapped in for birdie."I think in Memphis I got ahead of myself and my brain," said Stiles said. "And since then I've realized that you really can't do that."Lonard had one birdie through the first eight holes, and made his only bogey on the par-four, 406-yard ninth hole. Until then, the Australian said he thought he was cruising along.On Friday, even par was the cut line and 73 players from the field of 156 advanced to weekend play. Begay, whose last tour win was in 2000, has struggled ever since with chronic back pain because of an injured disk. He has been in only four tour events this season and has missed every cut. His 66 has him back in contention and he said reliving the 2000 win has helped him get through the pain. (AP)



Topics : Golf
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