Britons Dougherty and Howell lead Tiger in China
By Alastair Himmer
SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Britain’s Nick Dougherty and David
Howell shared the halfway lead at the Champions Tournament on
Friday, two shots clear of world number one Tiger Woods.
Joint overnight leader Dougherty fired a four-under-par 68
and Howell carded a blemish-free 67 in the rain to go to
12-under 132 at the $5 million event in Shanghai.
Woods stayed within striking distance at 10-under par
despite an error-strewn 69 that left him tied for third with
Australia’s Nick O’Hern, who shot a 67.
“I’m not kidding myself that I’m anywhere near as good as
Tiger but who knows?” said Howell. “I’ve got to shoot another
two 67s. It’s in my own hands.”
Woods made four birdies but struggled with his short game
in the drizzly gloom at Sheshan International Golf Club.
The American fluffed a bunker shot on the seventh hole,
slipped as he climbed out of the sand, then smashed his golf
bag with his club in fury.
He bogeyed 16 after failing to clear a greenside bunker
chipping from the rough and had to make a miraculous save at
the par-five 18th after finding water with his second shot.
In contrast, Briton Kenneth Ferrie fired a hole-in-one and
led for much of the second round until bogeys on 17 and 18
forced him to settle for a 69 and a five-way tie for fifth
Ferrie’s ace came at the sixth when he holed a four-iron
from 193 yards.
But this year’s European Open winner was furious with
himself for errors at the last two holes that cost him the lead
in Asia’s richest ever tournament.
“The hole-in-one was a good shot but hole-in-ones are just
lucky,” shrugged Ferrie. “It wasn’t an impressive finish. I
know I’ve left a bundle of shots out there.”
Britain’s Paul Casey (68), Dutchman Robert-Jan Derksen
(70), China’s Zhang Lianwei (68) and Thai Thaworn Wiratchant
(68) were also at nine-under with Ferrie.
Fiji’s world number two Vijay Singh was a further stroke
off the pace after a 69 along with U.S. Open champion Michael
Campbell of New Zealand, who had a 70.
Joint overnight leader Paul Lawrie slipped up with a 75,
leaving the 1999 British Open champion seven strokes adrift at
Fellow Scot Colin Montgomerie fared only slightly better
after his opening-round 74, double-bogeying the last in a 71 to
leave the European number one at one-over.
The Champions Tournament is the official start to the 2006
European Tour, co-sanctioning the event with the Asian Tour,
the PGA Tour of Australian and the South African Sunshine Tour.