Azinger-Pak, Daly-Davies share lead

The JC Penney Classic could not have come along at a better time for Paul Azinger.

The JC Penney Classic could not have come along at a better time for Paul Azinger.

The last round of golf that Payne Stewart played before his death in an October plane accident was at the Disney Classic when he was paired with Azinger. Just days later, Azinger was giving an emotional eulogy during his good friend's memorial.

"I committed here not long after the accident," Azinger said. "I said, 'I need to pull up my boot straps and just go out and play a tournament.' ... It was a tough thing to deal with. I felt if I didn't play I would start to wallow. Yes, I really did need to go play."

Azinger is doing more than just playing this week.

Azinger and Se Ri Pak shot a 7-under 64 on Thursday in the modified alternate stroke format for a share of the second-round lead with John Daly and Laura Davies. The leaders had 13-under totals on the West in Innisbrook Resort's Copperhead course in Palm Harbour, Florida.

Daly and Davies, who shared the lead with defending champs Steve Pate and Meg Mallon following Thursday's best-ball competition, shot a second-round 66.

Scott Gump and Maria Hjorth were a stroke back at 12 under after a 65. Justin Leonard and Juli Inkster (66) are 11 under, and Robert Damron and Charlotta Sorenstam (66) are 10 under.

For Azinger and Pak it has been success fashioned on the fly. They met for the first time Wednesday, but have adjusted quickly.

"We don't really know each other," Azinger said. "We're kind of just playing our own games and totaling them up in the end.

"She didn't play particularly well Thursday, but you could just tell she is confident in herself and it didn't bother her. She came out today and hit a lot of really good shots. She can play, man. She's really amazing."

Daly and Davies had no trouble finding common ground.

Not only is each player the longest hitter on their respective tours, both share a fascination with casinos. Teamed together, they were happy to apply that willingness to gamble to their golf.

"You've got to take some chances," Davies said. "You can never lay up. If you are in the trees and have a chance to hit a shot, you've got to go for the shot because there is always the chance your partner will put you in good shape anyway. If you are a gambler, this is the format you can really hit some shots for fun."

Competition in the $2 million purse event returns to best-ball play Saturday before finishing Sunday with the modified alternate shot format.

Second-round scores and totals in the JCPenney Classic team tournament, Palm Harbour, Florida (US unless stated):

129 S Pak/P Azinger (Kor/US) 65 64, L Davies/J Daly (GB/US) 63 66130 M Hjorth/S Gump (Swe/US) 65 65131 J Inkster/J Leonard 65 66132 C Sorenstam/R Damron (Swe/US) 66 66133 M Estill/T Pernice 64 69, M Mallon/S Pate 63-70, M McGann/G Kraft 64 69, B Mucha/T Scherrer 64 69, D Coe-Jones/D Hart (Can/US) 67 66, M McNamara/M Springer 67 66, D Andrews/M Hulbert 65 68, J Moodie/S Flesch (GB/US) 68 65134 D Ammaccapane/O Uresti 67 67, L Kane/M Weir (Can/Can) 67 67, T Barrett/F Funk 68 66, M Figueras-Dotti/B Bryant (Sp/US) 66 68, W Doolan/E Toledo (Aus/Mex) 66 68, D Pepper/J Sluman 69 65, K Albers/JP Hayes 67 67135 C Figg-Currier/T Armour 67 68, K Tschetter/J Cook 66 69, J Pitcock/B Glasson 68 67, K Saiki/D Paulson 66 69, C Nilsmark/C Perry (Swe/US) 68 67, P Hurst/R Sabbatini (US/SA) 63 72, AJ Eathorne/R Beem (Can/US) 68 67, L Hackney/C DiMarco (GB/US) 66 69, J McGill/JL Lewis 65 70136 L Spalding/D Pride 67 69, C Matthew/D Forsman (GB/US) 68 68, J Stephenson/F Lickliter (Aus/US) 64 72137 E Klein/S Cink 69-68, M Redman/S Kendall 67 70, C Johnson/S Lowery 68 69, G Park/J Carter 67 70138 W Ward/M Brooks 68 70, C Koch/J Don Blake (Swe/US) 71 67, R Hetherington/R Mediate (Aus/US) 67 71, J Gallagher-Smith/D Toms 69 69, A DeLuca/J Kelly 68 70, N Scranton/J Kaye 69 69139 A Fruhwirth/C Rose 72 67, C McCurdy/F Langham 70 69, D Eggeling/C Paulson 68 71, M Will/B Cheesman 70 69, L Lindley/T Tolles 67 72140 A Sorenstam/S Hoch (Swe/US) 68 72, L Philo/G Hjertstedt (US/Swe) 72 68, J Crafter/K Perry (Aus/US) 72 68, C Flom/T Tryba 67 73, M Baena/M Calcavecchia (Col/US) 66 74

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