Woods and Dunlap keep on rocking

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The Independent Online

J.P. Hayes' solitary stay atop the PGA Championship leaderboard was short-lived.

J.P. Hayes' solitary stay atop the PGA Championship leaderboard was short-lived.

Tiger Woods and Scott Dunlap, who shared the first-round lead at 6-under-par 66, each had birdies early in their rounds to pull even with Hayes at 7 under midway through Friday's second round at Valhalla Golf Club.

Hayes, who completed a first-round 69 in the dusk Thursday night, followed that with a 4-under 68 under ideal scoring conditions early in the morning. He led the idle co-leaders by two shots before bogeying the final hole.

Woods, playing five groups behind Dunlap in a mid-afternoon grouping with Jack Nicklaus and Vijay Singh, just missed a 10-foot (3-meter) birdie putt on the first hole then two-putted for the tying birdie after reaching the par-5 2nd in two shots.

Hayes said he doubted that Woods would be worried by the score he posted.

"I don't think Tiger is too concerned about anybody else," he said. "When a guy is the best player in the world, I mean, everybody else looks at him and you can just tell that he is not looking at anybody else."

The contrasts were dramatic at the top of the leaderboard. Hayes missed the cut in his last two tournaments and has only made it to the weekend once before in a major, finishing tied for 54th in last year's PGA, 17 shots behind Woods.

Dunlap is a golf vagabond who has won tournaments in Peru, Argentina and Canada but who has never won a PGA Tour event.

Woods is trying to become the first player to win three majors in the same year since Ben Hogan in 1953.

In the fourth group off the tee in the second round, Hayes took advantage of wet conditions and friendly greens to make his run.

The course was hit by 3 inches (8 centimeters) of overnight rain, softening the greens and saturating the fairways.

Hayes got to 8 under for a two-shot lead after six birdies and a bogey, but then bogeyed the par-5 closing hole when his third shot flew directly over the flag and bounced into the rough behind the green. He chipped back to the green, the ball ended up 20 feet (6 meters) away, and Hayes two-putted.

"I couldn't have played that hole any better," Hayes said. "Then I was a little aggressive with my third shot."

A 35-year-old Wisconsin native, Hayes has had to go through qualifying school four times. But he is having a big year on the tour this season, earning more than dlrs 720,000 with five top-10 finishes. He tied for second at the Honda Classic and tied for third at the Greater Milwaukee Open.

The heavy rains forced officials to push all the tee times back by an hour. That created more problems for a tournament which already had 18 players fail to complete their first rounds on Thursday because of darkness.

PGA officials acknowledged the second round probably will not be completed Friday and those still on the course will have to finish their rounds Saturday morning before the cut can be made and the third round can get under way.

Behind the top three on the leaderboard came Bob May, who was 5 under through 11 holes after going even-par 72 in the first round.

Thomas Bjorn of Denmark was in the clubhouse at 4 under after rounds of 72 and 68, while Fred Funk was 4 under for the tournament through four holes.

Former British Open winner Tom Lehman, still recovering from knee surgery, withdrew before teeing off in the second round. He struggled to an 82 in the opening round, playing the last three holes in 7-over par.

Rocco Mediate, who won last week's Buick Open, also withdrew. Mediate fell on his right side, injuring his neck, shoulder and lower back, when a chair collapsed when he tried to sit outside the clubhouse just before the start of the opening round. He shot a 77.