Sat, Oct 25, 2003 - Page 18 News List

Woods on course for new landmark in Florida

REUTERS , LAKE BUENA VISTA

Tiger Woods moved within striking distance of equalling a 55-year-old PGA Tour record after finishing three off the first round lead in the US$4 million Funai Classic on Thursday.

The world No. 1 will match Byron Nelson's achievement of making 113 straight cuts on tour if he qualifies for the third round.

Barring an extremely poor round, he will achieve that after an opening 66 left him three behind leader Brendan Pappas of South Africa who led at nine under par.

"The greens were soft and smooth and you could be aggressive," Woods told reporters.

"I played solid all day and kept myself out of trouble. I only missed two greens, but you had to make some putts. I did that early but did not make any putts coming home."

He was six under par after 11 holes at the Palm course but could par the final seven in benign morning conditions.

Fiji's Vijay Singh, the world number three who has hopes of topping the tour money list, carded a 64 to join Pat Perez and John Huston, twice a winner of this tournament, in a tie for second place.

Rocco Mediate, David Peoples and Dan Forsman shared fifth on 65.

Woods was in a group of nine players, including Deane Pappas, the leader's brother, who shot 66s.

Also on that mark were Australia's Geoff Ogilvy, former US Open champion Corey Pavin, Ben Crane, Dicky Pride, Paul Azinger, Scott Verplank and John Rollins.

Four of the world's top five players are in this week's field. In addition to Woods and Singh, No. 4 Davis Love III opened with a 67 and No. 5 Jim Furyk had a 70.

The Funai is being played at two par-72 courses in the Walt Disney World Resort, the Palm and Magnolia, for the first two rounds. The final two rounds will be played at the Magnolia.

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