Golf: Price sets a stern challenge: US PGA champion breaks Sawgrass' two-round record while lightning strikes for Langer

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NICK PRICE, the US PGA champion, set a new scoring record at The Players' Championship here yesterday, shooting a second-round 68. With his opening round of 64 that gave him a score of 132, 12 under par, beating the previous 36-hole record by one shot.

'Without the wind blowing this course is defenceless, and without fire in the greens you can take every shot at the flags if you're playing well enough,' he said.

Price did not think the tougher pin positions accounted for the four-shot difference in his scores. 'I approached the course a little differently today. I was more conservative.'

Play was suspended for an hour in mid-afternoon because of lightning. When the golfers were brought in Bernhard Langer was at 10 under par through 12 holes, three under par for the day and tied for second place, two shots behind Price. After play resumed Langer dropped a shot on the 14th when he missed a 15-foot putt for par after hitting his approach into a bunker. Langer moved back into second with a 20-foot birdie putt on Sawgrass' infamous island green 17th, and then parred the final hole for a three-under-par 69.

Also in at 10 under were the Americans Doug Tewell and Dave Rummells. Rummells birdied every hole he played after the delay to shoot a 65. Tewell, 43, is in his 19th year on the PGA Tour, and has won four times, but not since 1987. 'I knew if I started talking retirement that I'd play better,' he said. He tried a new putter this week, and it worked well yesterday, as he made six birdies, sinking three putts between 15 and 20 feet.

Sweden's Anders Forsbrand bogeyed three holes in a row coming in, shot 76 and missed the cut by four shots. Ian Woosnam sank a four-foot birdie putt at the 12th hole to go to two under par, which was projected to be the cut figure. Woosnam remained at that figure after 15 holes.

Jose Maria Olazabal finished with a 73 yesterday for a seven-over-par total of 151, which should allow him to miss the cut by at least eight shots. 'Practice is the only thing that will fix my game,' he said. The only player to shoot a higher score than Olazabal on Thursday, John Daly, shot the low round of the morning yesterday, a 66 but it was not enough to get him a weekend tee time.

THE PLAYERS' CHAMPIONSHIP (Sawgrass, Ponte Vedra) Leading second-round scores (US unless stated): 132 N Price (Zim) 64 68. 134 D Tewell 67 67; B Langer (Ger) 65 69; D Rummells 69 65. 135 J Edwards 66 69. 136 G Norman (Aus) 66 70; J Sindelar 65 71; B Fabel 68 68; R Black 66 70. 138 M O'Meara 67 71; J Gallagher 69 69; D Waldorf 72 66, M McCumber 68 70; R Fehr 67 71; B Estes 70 69. 140 V Singh (Fiji) 69 71. Selected: 145 J Daly 79 66. 146 A Forsbrand (Swe) 70 76. 151 J-M Olazabal (Sp) 78 73.