Weir running away at Nissan Open

Feb. 21, 2004 at 7:47 PM

PACIFIC PALISADES, Calif., Feb. 21 (UPI) -- Defending champion Mike Weir opened a five-shot lead over Shigeki Maruyama on Saturday at the $4.8 million Nissan Open, firing a 5-under-par 66.

Entering the day in a tie for the lead with his Japanese playing partner, Weir, a Canadian lefthander, reached 17-under 196, giving him a clear view of the $864,000 top prize.

Weir's 54 hole total established a new record at Riviera Country Club.

Maruyama was alone in second at 12-under 201 after carding a 71. Jeff Maggert was at 202, a stroke better than Scott McCarron.

Coming off his first win in nine years, John Daly was tied with Briny Baird at 204.

Tiger Woods was at 210 -- 15 strokes off the lead -- after matching his opening-round 72.

Last year, Weir came from seven shots back on the final day, then defeated Charles Howell III with a birdie on the second playoff hole.

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