Some golf courses reward skilled putters, others favor those with great short games. Any golf course that prominently features a statue of John Daly is obviously meant for big hitters.
Stuart Appleby, looking for his first victory since January, unleashed big drive after big drive during his sixth consecutive round in the 60s at the 84 Lumber Classic at Farmington, Pa., to open a one-shot lead Friday over an equally long hitter, Chris Smith, and a very accurate Cameron Beckman.
Appleby’s 6-under 66 on the long but not especially trouble-filled 7,416-yard Mystic Rock course put him at 11-under 133. Beckman’s 65 and Smith’s 66 put them at 134, or two shots better than Craig Barlow, Joey Sindelar and Carl Pettersson.
Appleby is among eight golfers using the 84 Lumber to sharpen their games for next week’s Presidents Cup, but only Justin Leonard – three shots back – is relatively close to the lead. Defending champion Vijay Singh and Stewart Cink are seven behind, and Jim Furyk and Fred Couples missed the cut.
•David Toms was released from a Pittsburgh hospital and plans to play in next week’s Presidents Cup matches despite being stricken by a heart problem during the first round of the 84 Lumber Classic.
Toms was taken off the Nemacolin Woodlands resort course Thursday with what his caddie said was a rapid heartbeat.
European PGA Tour
Top-seeded Retief Goosen tied his World Match Play record with a 12-and-11 victory over Mark Hensby and will play U.S. Open champion Michael Campbell for a place in the final.
Campbell drew even with Steve Elkington at the 35th, winning at the 37th with a par to reach today’s semifinals at Virginia Water, England.
In the other semifinal, Paul McGinley will play Angel Cabrera. McGinley beat third-seeded Ryder Cup teammate Luke Donald 9 and 8 while second-seeded Cabrera, who won the British PGA on this Wentworth course in May, defeated Jose Maria Olazabal 4 and 3.
Sweden’s Maria Hjorth shot a course-record 7-under 64 to take a three-stroke lead after the opening round of the John Q. Hammons Hotel Classic at Broken Arrow, Okla.
Karine Icher and Michelle Ellis were tied for second after opening 67s. Tracy Hanson of Rathdrum, Idaho, opened with a 73.
Bob Gilder tied the tournament and course record with an 8-under 64 for a two-stroke lead after the opening round of the Constellation Energy Classic at Hunt Valley, Md. Tom Watson and Dan Pohl were tied for second after opening 66s.
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