Adam Scott sets course record in Maryland

AP , POTOMAC, MARYLANDAND PITTSFORD, NEW YORK

Sun, Jun 27, 2004 - Page 23

Records continue to fall in the Booz Allen Classic, where a day-and-a-half of perfect conditions and impeccable greens helped Australia's Adam Scott reach 14 under after two rounds.

Scott's 128 total bettered the 36-hole course record of 130 set by Fred Funk in 1998. Scott's bogey-free round of 62 on Friday included nine birdies, and he paused more than once trying to remember them all.

"That's a nice problem to have," said the 23-year-old Scott, the Players Championship winner in March. "At the start of the week, I thought there were birdies out there. I think the guys are going to keep it going for the weekend."

Charles Howell III set an 18-hole TPC at Avenel record with a 61 on Thursday. He followed with a second-round 69 and was two strokes off the lead, tied for second with Olin Browne (66).

Glen Day nearly outdid everyone. He was 10 under on his round through 15 holes Friday, having holed out with a lob wedge from 80m for an eagle on the par-5 sixth. He needed two birdies in his last three holes to match the PGA Tour record of 59.

But a storm stopped play for nearly two hours. All that time to think -- plus the wind that had kicked up by the time he resumed -- helped doom Day to a par-bogey-par finish. He carded a 62 to match 1999 champion Rich Beem (67) at 11 under.

"I would have enjoyed playing the last three holes without a delay," Day said. "Now that's not saying that I may have had a chance to do something great or not, but it was there. We got the delay, came back out, and then it just kind of like, `OK, let's finish this.'"

The siren had stopped play just as Day was finishing his swing at the tee on No. 7, and the shot had landed in the rough. When he resumed, he put his approach into a greenside bunker, but he nearly salvaged an improbable birdie when he hit the pin with his blast from the sand.

Day was in a bunker again after the wind messed with his choice of club on a tweener-distance approach to the par-4 8th, ending his run at history.

"I would have had to finish birdie-birdie," said Day, whose only PGA Tour victory came in 1999. "Sure it could happen, but as soon as I had the yardage on 8, it was kind of all over."

While Day and Browne represent the veterans on the leaderboard, Scott and Howell are the next generation. They are pals from their recent college days, when Scott played for UNLV and Howell for Oklahoma State. Howell gave Scott tips on a course his friend had never seen when they played a practice round Tuesday.

"I might should have told him a few other things -- like where not to hit it," Howell joked.

These days, Howell's best friend on the tour is Tiger Woods, who gave Howell a call Thursday night to congratulate him on his 61.

"Tiger probably would have followed up the 61 with another 61," Howell said. "I'm still learning that one. He just said, `Good playing; keep playing well.' We talk a lot of times not even about golf. He's a fantastic friend."

Rochester LPGA

It has been 10 months since Candie Kung won the last of her three LPGA Tour victories. That's long enough for the 22-year-old to think she's in a drought.

With her old swing clicking again, she returned to top form with a 4-under 68 Friday to join Kim Saiki atop the leaderboard after two rounds of the Rochester LPGA.

Lurking three shots back was Annika Sorenstam. She shot a 6-under 66, the day's best round, to move into sixth place.

Taiwan-born Kung, who surged to prominence in only her second year on tour, said she has fought for months to recapture the form that led to victories last year in LPGA Takefuji Classic, Wachovia LPGA Classic and State Farm Classic.

"It seems like a long time ago when I won -- I feel like I'm not doing what I expected," she said.

Kung and Saiki were tied at 9-under 135. Saiki, a 38-year-old Californian who is winless in 13 years on tour, had a second-round 69 at the tree-lined Locust Hill course.

Becky Morgan was a stroke back after a 67, and Rosie Jones (68) and Juli Inkster (69) were 7 under.