Sun, Aug 27, 2006 - Page 23 News List

Woods leads despite `lost ball' row

NOT OUT OF BOUNDS A lost-ball controversy involving Tiger Woods overshadowed the second round of the Bridgestone Invitational tournament in Ohio on Friday

AP , AKRON, OHIOAP, RENO, NEVADA

Yusaku Miyazato shows the two balls he used to record two holes-in-one during the second round of the Reno-Tahoe Open golf tournament on Friday. Miyazato became the first to make two holes-in-one in the same round of a PGA Tour tournament.

PHOTO: AP

Tiger Woods in the lead at Firestone is typical.

Woods hitting a 9-iron over the clubhouse roof and escaping with bogey because it was not marked out-of-bounds made the Bridgestone Invitational nothing short of bizarre on Friday.

Woods birdied his first four holes and shot a 6-under 64 to take a one-shot lead over Davis Love III, but what made the second round memorable was a bogey on his final hole that left Woods feeling lucky after a strange sequence of events.

It started from the right rough on No. 9 when Woods hit a 9-iron from 167 yards that jumped out of the grass, soared over the flag and over the grandstands. It hit the concrete path and bounced over a balcony and onto the roof.

From the back of the clubhouse, Summit County deputy sheriff Bill Muncy was sitting in his chair when he noticed a golf ball bouncing around the service area below him and next to a youngster.

"The kid looked up and said, `Who's throwing balls at me?'" Muncy said. "Then he stuck it in his pocket."

Woods stood in the fairway for nearly 10 minutes before rules officials arrived trying to figure out their next step. Some said it went into an air-conditioning duct. A clubhouse attendant said it dropped down on the other side.

Dillard Pruitt, the rules official, talked to the deputy sheriff and then went about figuring out where Woods should drop.

There was no penalty because the grandstands -- known as a temporary immovable obstruction in the Rules of Golf -- were in his way.

Woods eventually took relief from the rough near the first tee, 84 yards away, hit a lob wedge to 30 feet and two-putted for bogey, putting him at 9-under 131 going into the weekend.

"I hit a drive and a 9-iron and a 60-degree wedge and two-putted. First bogey of the day," Woods said.

If only it were that simple.

Players in the clubhouse went to the back door to see where it landed and shook their heads, muttering that the world's No. 1 player was also the luckiest at Firestone because the clubhouse was not deemed to be out-of-bounds.

If that had been the case, he would have had to drop from the rough and play his fourth shot, and Woods might have been happy to escape with a double bogey at best.

Instead, he was in a familiar spot -- atop the leaderboard in this World Golf Championship, and in great shape to capture his fourth consecutive PGA Tour victory.

Japan's Yusaku Miyazato became the first golfer to make two holes-in-one in the same round of a US PGA Tour tournament when he aced a pair of par 3s on Friday at the Reno-Tahoe Open.

Miyazato accomplished the feat on the 220-yard seventh hole and then the 186-yard, No. 12 at the Montreux Golf and Country Club.

Bob Tway had two aces in the same tournament at the Memorial in 1993 and Glen Day did the same at the Greater Hartford Open the same year, but Tour officials said they could find no record of any golfer on tour who pulled it off on the same day.

Miyazato, 26, speaks only a little English so his caddie served as a translator for reporters after the round. But he knew how to answer directly when asked how he planned to celebrate Friday night.

"Drink much beer. Big party," he said with a wide smile.

He had one previous hole-in-one and was "very excited" when he holed out the first one on Friday with a 4-iron.

"But the second time, it was really unbelievable. I couldn't believe it," Miyazato said through his caddie. He hit a 7-iron for that one.

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