The “Mini-Volcano” had no reason to scream at his golf ball. More times than not it was headed into the cup.
Dudley Hart, who turned 29 earlier this month, stole the thunder from the other 20-somethings Friday, shooting a 5-under-par 65 to take a two-stroke lead after the second round of the World Series of Golf in Akron, Ohio.
“It’s a nickname people seem to like,” Hart said, “but I’m not the worst out here by a long ways. There are guys who make me look like a church boy. But I have my moments.”
A birdie at the second hole and 20- and 25-foot birdie putts at the fifth and ninth holes allowed him to pass first-round co-leaders Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson. Hart took sole possession of the lead with a 12-foot birdie putt at the par-4 14th.
At the par-4 17th hole, he rolled in an 18-footer from the fringe for another birdie, his fifth against no bogeys. After an opening-round 69, Hart was at 6-under 134.
Despite all the talk about the onslaught of Generation X players such as Woods, Mickelson, U.S. Open winner Ernie Els and British Open champion Justin Leonard, it was Hart who mastered the 7,179-yard Firestone Country Club layout.
His 65 was the low round of a wet and dreary day. Only eight players in the elite 46-man field broke par as the course played extremely long because of a second day of intermittent rain.
Greg Norman, putting the finishing touches on his second straight 2-under 68, knocked a pitching wedge to 5 feet at the 16th hole and made the birdie putt to cut the gap to two strokes. Norman, who three-putted from 6 feet for double-bogey at the fourth hole, is alone in second at 4-under 136.
Meanwhile, Woods and Mickelson stumbled to 72s, while Els, Nick Price and Davis Love III, fresh from winning the PGA Championship last weekend, had 71s. Price’s 71 included a hole-in-one on the 206-yard, par-3 fifth hole.
Woods, followed by a huge gallery, duck-hooked a drive on the ninth hole and hit a female spectator in the middle of the back, knocking her face down on the asphalt cart path. She was treated on the course and sustained no serious injuries. After checking on her condition and giving her a golf ball, Woods went on to par the hole.
Woods has only hit 11 fairways in two rounds.
PGA Greater Vancouver Open
At Surrey, British Columbia, Canadian Richard Zokol went on a birdie binge to fashion a 7-under-par 64 for a share of the second-round lead in the Greater Vancouver Open.
Zokol, who matched Len Mattiace and Steve Pate at 11-under-par 131, had eight birdies over the last 12 holes.
Senior PGA Saint Luke’s Classic
At Belton, Mo., Bruce Summerhays and Hugh Baiocchi shot 7-under-par 63s - one stroke off the course record - to share the first-round lead in the Saint Luke’s Classic.
LPGA Compaq Open
At Stockholm, Sweden, Annika Sorenstam shot her second straight 67 and took a three-stroke lead over Nancy Lopez at the halfway point of the Compaq Open.
At Beavercreek, Ohio, Brandie Burton, winless since a three-victory season in 1993, shot a 6-under-par 66 to take a one-stroke lead over Colleen Walker after the first round of the Star Bank LPGA Classic.
At Dublin, Ireland, defending champion Per-Ulrik Johansson equaled Colin Montgomerie’s course-record of 8-under-par 64 and moved one stroke ahead of the Scot after the second round of the European Open.
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