Weir leads, Woods rallies at the Masters
AUGUSTA, Ga., April 11 (UPI) -- A Canadian southpaw was ahead and the world's best player was trying his greatest comeback at the wet, windy Masters.
It was dawn-to-dark golf Friday as players started their first round a day late because of the rainy weather and played as much as possible of the second round. Only 18 members of the 93-man field could complete the second round before dark, meaning most will faced another early wake-up call Saturday.
One dozen hours passed from the time Sandy Lyle hit the first shot of the 67th Masters into the gloom and mist until the moment the siren blew to signal the weary players off the Augusta National Golf Club course.
Mike Weir, twice a winner on the PGA Tour this year, emerged as the front-runner, standing at 6-under through 12 holes of his second round.
Darren Clarke of Northern Ireland, who shot a 6-under 66 in the opening round Friday to take a brief three-shot advantage, played the first 10 holes of the second round in 2-over and was alone in second place, two shots behind Weir at 4-under for the tournament.
Phil Mickelson, often a challenger but never a winner in a major championship, was 2-under with seven to go. He birdied four of the first five holes in the second round after opening with a 73.
And alone in fourth at 1-under with eight holes to play was U.S. Amateur champion Ricky Barnes, who began the long day at the Augusta National as a relative unknown and ended it as a threat to become the first amateur winner of the Masters.
Barnes played Friday in the company of Tiger Woods, who is attempting to become the first player in Masters history to win the tournament three years in a row.
And while it was a difficult day for a lot of players, it was an especially difficult day for Woods. He had to chip in from 50 feet at the first hole of the day just to save a bogey, failed to make a birdie in a round for the first time in four years and wound up with a 76 that was his highest score as a professional at the Augusta National.
That left him 10 shots behind after 18 holes. No one has ever shot a score as high as 76 in the opening round of the Masters and won the tournament.
Woods battled back with three birdies in a four-hole stretch during his second round, but he was at 2-over and eight shots behind Weir with seven holes remaining in the second round.
"I'm right where I need to be," Woods said. "I've still got a chance at this tournament and there's a long way to go. The leaders aren't going to run away and hide here with the conditions the way they are. Obviously, I would like to be a little bit better than I am. But I'm on the right track."
And, it was not a good day for some of golf's foremost senior citizens.
Arnold Palmer, at age 73, shot a 44 for his first nine, rallied to record an 83 in the day's first round and then played played the first 14 holes of the second round of 10-over.
Jack Nicklaus, 63, recorded the highest score he has ever shot on the PGA Tour -- an 85. During the afternoon, he was 4-over through 12 holes.
Gary Player, 68, had an 82, then played 15 holes in 5-over. And Tommy Aaron, 66, a Georgia native who won the Masters in 1973 and who became the oldest participant to make the cut when he did so three years ago, struggled to a 92 in the morning and an 80 in the afternoon
Royals win again
CLEVELAND, April 11 (UPI) -- After eight games, the Kansas City Royals still are perfect.
Runelvys Hernandez worked seven strong innings and Desi Relaford made a key defensive play in the bottom of the ninth as the Royals remained baseball's lone unbeaten team with a 1-0 blanking of the Cleveland Indians Friday night.
On the other side of the picture, winless Detroit lost its ninth straight, a 5-0 loss to the Chicago White Sox. That made the Tigers the only major league team ever to open consecutive seasons with nine losses.
Serena breezes at Charleston
CHARLESTON, S.C., April 11 (UPI) -- Top-seeded Serena Williams easily reached the semifinals of the Family Circle Cup Friday but found herself sharing the spotlight with a little known teenager.
Wild card Ashley Harkleroad continued her surprising run with a rout of fifth seed Daniela Huntuchova. Playing in her first career WTA Tour quarterfinal, Harkleroad, who turns 18 in May, needed less than an hour to roll past her Slovakian foe, 6-2,
6-1, at the $1.3 million claycourt event.
Williams advanced with a 6-2, 6-2 win over sixth-seeded Yugoslavian Jelena Dokic. Williams, who extended her winning streak to 20 matches, will face third seed Lindsay Davenport in the semis. Davenport beat Vera Zvonareva of Russia, 7-6 (7-3), 6-3.
Report: Tyson to fight on undercard
NEWARK, N.J., April 11 (UPI) -- Mike Tyson reportedly plans to return to the ring June 21 -- but not as a headliner.
The Newark Star Ledger reported Tyson, who has fought only once since being pounded by Lennox Lewis last June, is set to fight on the undercard of the WBC heavyweight champion Lewis at Continental Airlines Arena.
Tyson, however, has had his license suspended in New Jersey and other states for erratic behavior in and out of the ring, including the infamous battle against Evander Holyfield during which Tyson bit off part of Holyfield's ear. So, before he can fight a yet-to-be-named opponent, he faces another round with the State Athletic Control Board.
Fisichella awarded F1 victory
PARIS, April 11 (UPI) -- Giancarlo Fisichella was awarded a victory in the Brazilian Grand Prix Friday -- five days after the race was run.
The Jordan driver belatedly celebrated his first Formula One win in 110 attempts when McLaren's Kimi Raikkonen was demoted to second place. The decision was made after evidence presented during a hearing showed that Fisichella was just over four seconds into a crucial final lap in Sao Paulo last Sunday when a caution flag was displayed.
Fisichella, who finished second five times before finally getting the win, competes in the San Marino Grand Prix at Imola a week from Sunday.
Theo Fluery suspended
NEW YORK, April 11 (UPI) -- The NHL and the Players' Association announced Friday that Theo Fleury of the Chicago Blackhawks had been suspended.
Fleury was placed in Stage 3 of the league's substance abuse and behavioral health program. Under terms of the joint program, Fleury will be suspended without pay for at least six months and then will be eligible to apply for reinstatement.
The Blackhawks signed Fleury to a two-year contract worth $8.5 million last August, but his stay in Chicago has been checkered almost from the start.
Peter Sejna wins Hoby Baker Award
APPLE VALLEY, Minn., April 11 (UPI) -- Colorado College left wing Peter Sejna, who scored his first career NHL goal Sunday, was given the Hobey Baker Award Friday.
A native of Slovakia, Sejna became the first European born player to win college hockey's most prestigious award. Sejna, now with the St, Louis Blues, led the nation with 36 goals and 82 points, while finishing second in assists (46) and game-winning goals (8).
Chris Kunitz of Ferris State, who recently signed with the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, and Cornell goaltender Dave LeNeveu were the other finalists for the award.
Dolphins sign Charles Rogers
MIAMI, April 11 (UPI) -- The Miami Dolphins Friday signed kick returner Charlie Rogers to a one-year contract.
Originally taken in the fifth round of the 1999 draft by the Seattle Seahawks, Rogers has returned two kickoffs for touchdowns, and a punt for a score in his four-year career.
Rogers, 26, spent three seasons with the Seahawks before he was selected by the Houston Texans in the 2002 expansion draft. He was traded to the Bills last April for linebacker Jay Foreman, and is happy to be back in warmer weather.
Kanaskie resigns at Drake
DES MOINES, Iowa, April 11 (UPI) -- Kurt Kanaskie resigned Friday as basketball coach at Drake after a seven-year tenure.
Kanaskie went 62-136 at Drake for a winning percentage of .313, the lowest of any coach in the history of the school. The Bulldogs went 10-20 in his final season.
Kanaskie previously was a coach at the Division II level at Lock Haven and Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
Day dismissed by Washington
SEATTLE, April 11 (UPI) -- University of Washington forward Jeffrey Day has been dropped from the team after becoming academically ineligible for the second time.
Day, a sophomore, previously missed three games because of academic deficiencies before being reinstated on Jan. 8. The highly-regarded recruit out of Seattle averaged 3.9 points and 2.7 rebounds per game this past season.
Washington Coach Lorenzo Romar left open the door for Day to return at some point.