MIYAZAKI, Japan – This time, defending champion Tiger Woods is finding the competition tough at the Dunlop Phoenix.

Woods, who easily won this tournament last year, shot a 3-under-par 67 Friday to pull within one stroke of leader Jim Furyk after two rounds.

Furyk had the day’s best score, a 64 that featured seven birdies and a bogey to move into the lead alone at 9-under 131. Woods shares second with David Duval, who led after the opening round and shot a 68 Friday.

“I know I can win around here and know what it takes to win,” Woods said. “This is a course that seems to fit Jim’s game, but hopefully I can drive better the rest of the way and make the putts I need to win.”

Woods entered the final round last year with a 10-stroke lead and shot a 67 to finish eight strokes ahead of Japan’s Ryoken Kawagishi.

The world’s No. 1 player trailed Duval by one stroke after the first round and had five birdies against a pair of bogeys Friday.

“I’m very happy, considering I missed a bunch of putts today and didn’t drive as well as yesterday,” Woods said. “To be only one back is pretty good.”

Furyk said: “I had the hot putter and was able to put myself in a position to win.”

He was looking forward to playing with Woods and Duval on Saturday. “All three of us have played a lot of golf together,” Furyk said. “We’re good friends and it would be a fun pairing for all of us.”

Woods, who had bogeys on the second and sixth holes, was not satisfied with his driving.

“I basically had three bad drives and they cost me a couple of shots,” Woods said. “I’ve got a few things I need to work on in practice but should be OK for tomorrow.”

It was another strong outing for Duval, who had four birdies on the back nine after a pair of bogeys on Nos. 1 and 10.

“I feel fine,” Duval said. “I’m gaining confidence. I was 2 over par after the turn and to turn it around and make those birdies coming in makes me confident about what I’m doing.”

Duval, who has won 13 times on the PGA Tour and was ranked No. 1 in 1999, has made the cut only once this year – at the Texas Open in September. He has been hampered by back and shoulder problems, and his game began to deteriorate in 2002. His last victory was at this event in 2001.

Oberholser leads Pebble Beach

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – Arron Oberholser shot a 5-under 67 on Friday for a share of the second-round lead with Charley Hoffman and Peter Tomasulo in the Callaway Golf Pebble Beach Invitational.

Oberholser, who missed the last two months of the PGA Tour season because of elbow and back injuries, had six birdies and a bogey on the Del Monte course to match Hoffman and Tomasulo at 11-under 133.

“I’m testing myself out here,” said Oberholser, who finished 88th on the PGA Tour money list. “I’m testing my body, my mind and my routines. I want to see if I can get through four rounds of competitive golf without any problems.”

Hoffman, who finished 19th on the Nationwide Tour money list to earn a 2006 PGA Tour card, shot a 64 at Pebble Beach. Tomasulo, a former University of California star who played the Canadian Tour this year, had a 68 at Spyglass Hill.

First-round leader Tom Purtzer (71), Hunter Haas (69) and Jim Thorpe (69) were 10 under. “I hit the ball and I played well,” said Purtzer, who won the 3M Championship this year en route to his best Champions Tour season. “But I just didn’t make the 8- to 10- footers I made yesterday.”

Rich Beem, who matched the day’s best round with a 64 at Spyglass, was tied with Todd Fischer (70) and Parker McLachlin (66) at 9 under.

No dispute: Annika in charge at Trump

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – Annika Sorenstam is in charge again, and there was no disputing that. One day after a chilly confrontation with Paula Creamer over a drop, Sorenstam put it out of her mind Friday and made two eagles on her way to a 2-under 70, giving her a two-shot lead over Hee-Won Han at the season-ending ADT Championship.

After the round, however, she wasn’t pleased to hear how strongly Creamer felt about Sorenstam’s drop on the 18th hole in the first round.

Creamer insisted that Sorenstam’s tee shot stayed over the water during its flight, and that the 35-year-old Swede should have gone back to the tee for her third shot, instead of to a drop area about 190 yards from the hole.

The 19-year-old rookie said in her “heart of hearts,” she did not think the ball ever crossed land, and she later said of Sorenstam that “it’s her conscience.”

“I’m mostly surprised she feels that way,” Sorenstam said. “I’m disappointed that she feels that way. Obviously, she has the right to feel any way she wants. But I really didn’t interpret the situation like that out there at all. For me, it was a bad shot. We were trying to figure out where to drop.”

There were no such issues on a gloomy afternoon Friday, just scrappy golf by just about everyone trying to handle the strong breeze and light rain that came down sideways over the final two hours.

Argentina sets record at World Cup

VILAMOURA, Portugal – Ricardo Gonzalez and Angel Cabrera played as if they were in a world of their own.

Coming from last place after the first round, the Argentine pair beat wind, light rain and chilly weather to shoot a 61 Friday, a World Cup record in foursomes.

“I don’t know if they played a different set of tees than we did, or what,” U.S. team member Stewart Cink said. “But they made it look easy.”

Argentina’s 11-under round – six shots better than anyone else – left it at 129, one shot behind leaders England, Sweden and Wales.

“I thought somebody had made a mistake. It’s incredible,” Ireland’s Padraig Harrington said after his team’s 69.

The Swedish pair of Henrik Stenson and Niclas Fasth shot 67, as did the Welsh team of Bradley Dredge and Stephen Dodd. The previous low-round in foursomes, or alternate shot, in the World Cup was 62, set by Vijay Singh and Dinesh Chand of Fiji in 2002.

England’s Luke Donald and David Howell, who led after the first round with a 59 on Thursday in fourball – or better ball – managed only a 69 at the Victoria Clube de Golfe on Portugal’s southern Algarve coast.

“Quite unbelievable,” Fasth said of Argentina’s round. “I guess this tournament has never seen a foursomes like that before.”

Howell compared Argentina’s score to England’s round in light winds and sunshine on Thursday.

“Well that’s a miraculous round, it outdoes our 59 for sure,” he said.

With only one ball in play, foursomes is more difficult than fourball, in which each golfer plays his own ball.

Though the World Cup is a stroke-play event, rounds are played alternating between the match-play format of fourball and foursomes. The event completes the World Golf Championships season.

The American team of Zach Johnson and Cink shot 70 for a 135.


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