Sun, Feb 20, 2005 - Page 23 News List

Elements slow progress during the Nissan Open

AP , LOS ANGELES

Mike Weir of Canada watches his tee shot on the second hole during the rain-delayed second round of the Nissan Open at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, California on Friday.

PHOTO: AFP

Brian Davis waited almost 30 hours after his opening 65 before finally getting to the tee to start his second round in the rain-delayed Nissan Open.

Staring down the 10th fairway late Friday afternoon, the Englishmen picked out his line and then heard the siren.

Without even hitting a shot, his day was over.

Davis, Tiger Woods and 70 other players had to return at 7:30am yesterday to finish the second round -- or start the second round, as was the case with Davis -- and see if they can catch Chad Campbell.

Campbell was among the lucky players at soggy Riviera Country Club.

First he was pleased that he finished. Then he was thrilled where he finished.

Equipped with a vastly improved short game, Campbell was virtually flawless in the rain with a 6-under 65 that gave him a three-shot lead over Robert Allenby going into the week.

"Honestly, I thought we wouldn't start," said Campbell, who arrived early Friday to see puddles on the greens and small ponds forming in the bunkers.

"But the course was great. I gave myself a lot of chances and was able to make a lot of putts for a change."

He was at 9-under 133, the target for the 72 players still on the course, none of whom even got halfway through the round. Kevin Sutherland birdied two of his first four holes and was at 6 under, while Woods was another shot back.

Woods, off to his best start ever at Riviera by opening with a 67, missed a 3m eagle putt on the first hole, missed a 3m putt for birdie on No. 3 and kept his sanity with an 2m par save on the fourth before darkness set in off Sunset Boulevard and play was suspended.

Allenby made putts at the right time -- most for par, some for birdie, one for eagle -- for a 67 that gave him good vibes about winning at Riviera again.

Luke Donald finished with 12 straight pars for a 71 and was at 137, along with Stephen Leaney and Rocco Mediate, who shot 67s.

Campbell has proven he can win big tournaments.

He won his first PGA Tour event two years ago at the Tour Championship on the strength of a third-round 61, then rallied from four shots behind on the last day to win the Bay Hill Invitational last March.

In between, the results have been spotty.

"I think it revolves around the short game," he said.

Campbell went to see Dwaine Knight, his college coach at UNLV, earlier this month to work on his putting, and it's starting to pay off.

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