Lehman regains Masters lead as Paulson falters

Tom Lehman maintained his mastery of Augusta National's front nine on Friday, playing it bogey free to retake the lead in the 64th U.S. Masters over a faltering Dennis Paulson.

Lehman shot a 35 on the front side to get to 4 under midway through his second round. Paulson found trouble from his first tee shot and shot a 4-over 40 that put him at even par.

Paulson, a Masters rookie, hit his first shot into a fairway bunker and made a bogey. Things didn't get much better on the second hole, when he had to hit his second shot left-handed after a drive into the woods and he made another bogey.

Northern Ireland's Darren Clarke, meanwhile, followed his birdie-birdie finish in the first round with three birdies in his first six holes today to move into contention.

Clarke, who beat Tiger Woods to win the dlrs 1 million first prize in the Match Play Championship in February, started the day even par after his strong finish in the first round. He birdied quickly birdied the second hole, then added birdies at Nos. 3 and 6. A bogey at No. 7 put him two shots back.

Lehman, who didn't make a mistake until he hit it in the woods and made double bogey on No. 18 on Thursday, parred the first six holes and made birdie on the seventh. He shot a 4-under 32 on the front side in the first round.

Leader board

4 under - Tom Lehman (after 28 holes)

2 under - Darren Clarke (Gbr) (26), Sergio Garcia (Spa) (18), Steve Stricker (18)

1 under - Rocco Mediate (18), Phil Mickelson (18), Steve Jones (18), Dennis Paulson (30),Loren Roberts (26)


Level - Nick Faldo (Gbr) (18) 2 over - Colin Montgomerie (Gbr) (24) 3 over - Tiger Woods (18), Ian Woosnam (Gbr) (29) 4 over - Padraig Harrington (Irl) (18) 5 over - Lee Westwood (Gbr) (18), Jose Maria Olazabal (Spa) (25) 6 over - Sandy Lyle (Gbr) (20) 7 over - Paul Lawrie (Gbr) (18) 12 over - Graeme Storm (Gbr) (22) 18 over - Seve Ballesteros (Spa) (31)