Golf: Rams prove the ace of clubs for Mize: Baker and Woosnam survive Bay Hill cut

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The Independent Online
LAST YEAR Larry Mize had the kind of year that came as close as anything could to marginalising his accomplishment of chipping in to beat Greg Norman at the 1987 Masters - he won three times, including a 10-shot victory at the Johnnie Walker World Championship in December. For some reason, his long-time equipment company, PowerBuilt, promptly dropped him, leaving Mize logoless 'and waiting by the telephone'.

The clubs he has used this week to take the joint second-round lead at Bay Hill with Andrew Magee and Vijay Singh are carried around in a plain blue bag with just his name on it, and to keep himself amused, Mize is using irons he calls 'Ramzunos'. The even irons are Rams, the odds Mizunos.

'For fun I've been having a little competition between the clubs, and so far the Rams are pulling off the toughest shots.'

Mize's 36-hole score of 137, seven under par, is most remarkable given the fact that he had knee surgery just nine days before the start of play, but he postponed withdrawing each day as the tournament approached, just in case he became strong enough to compete. The swelling went down in his right knee before the first round, and the only restriction on his game is that he can not squat down to line up putts.

The overnight leader, Nick Price, is one shot back after double bogeying the 18th. Four of the six Europeans made the cut. Jesper Parnevik was right on the cut line of three over par. Peter Baker, in his first US tour event, made the cut by two, while Bernhard Langer was level par after a round of 69, and Ian Woosnam finished one under par on 143 after a 72 yesterday.

The two Scots were the only ones made idle this weekend: Colin Montgomerie missed after two straight rounds of 74, while Sandy Lyle, who finished ninth last week, was one stroke higher after rounds of 75 and 74. Lyle said: 'It was poor scrappy golf, helped by a dead brain.'

NESTLE INVITATIONAL (Bay Hill) Early leading second-round scores (US unless stated): 137 L Mize 68 69; A Magee 70 67; V Singh (Fiji) 68 69. 138 N Price (Zim) 66 72; G Day 70 68. 139 T Watson 69 70; M Allen 69 70; T Lehman 72 67; T Schulz 71 68; D Pohl 70 69; B Crenshaw 70 69; P Goydos 70 69. 140 G Norman (Aus) 68 72; B Lohr 70 70; F Zoeller 72 68; L Roberts 70 70. 141 W Grady (Aus) 71 70; G Waite (NZ) 69 72; J Huston 73 68. 142 P Burke 68 74. Selected: 143 I Woosnam (Wal) 71 72. 144 B Langer (Ger) 75 69. 146 P Baker (Eng) 74 72. 147 J Parnevik (Swe) 73 74. 148 C Montgomerie (Sco) 74 74. 149 S Lyle (Sco) 75 74.