PALM HARBOR, Fla. (AP) – K.J. Choi took double bogey and called it a good experience. He nearly made an ace on what he called a bad shot. It added up to a 5-under 66 and a one-shot lead after a wild Friday in the Chrysler Championship.

Along with solid play from Ernie Els, relief for Paul Azinger and agony for Brian Bateman, was a police chase in the middle of the round as officers with guns drawn sought a pair of juveniles accused of burglarizing a nearby house.

As the wind died late in the afternoon at Innisbrook, Choi was at 8-under 134 and led Els (66), Jonathan Byrd (67) and Brian Gay (71) by one shot.

The Chrysler Championship is the final full-field event of the year on the PGA Tour, and there are battles all over the Copperhead course as players are trying to get into the top 30 on the money list to get into the Tour Championship, the top 40 to secure Masters invitations, or the top 125 to keep their cards.

Brian Bateman was No. 126, and getting a tee time on the weekend might have been all he needed to get inside the top 125. It was a struggle most of the day, but he finished strong with an approach into 2 feet on his final hole to reach 3 over.

Then he waited – in vain, as it turned out.

The thrills belonged to Azinger, who two years ago bogeyed the last two holes to miss the cut by one shot, eventually costing him his card. He was at No. 122 coming into the Chrysler Championship, and had to scramble at the end.

But he holed a 15-foot par putt on the 17th, and an 8-foot par putt on the 18th to make the cut by one shot.

Charles Schwab Cup Championship

SONOMA, Calif. (AP) – Tom Kite eagled the par-4 11th hole for the second straight round and finished with a 4-under 68 to take a one-stroke lead over Jay Haas and Jim Thorpe in the Champions Tour’s Charles Schwab Cup Championship.

Kite’s 76-yard wedge shot on the 11th energized the crowd at Sonoma Golf Club and made the Texan the first Champions Tour player in seven years to eagle two par-4 holes in the same tournament.

But Kite can’t get comfortable atop the leaderboard in the tour’s season-ending event. He had an 8-under 135 total, with eight players within three strokes – including Haas and Loren Roberts, who are battling for most of the tour’s season-ending awards. Haas shot a 66 to match Thorpe (70) at 8 under, and Roberts (66) was 7 under along with Bobby Wadkins (66), Andy Bean (68) and Craig Stadler (69).

Dubai Ladies Masters

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) – Annika Sorenstam shot a 4-under 68 to increase her lead to five strokes after the second round of the Ladies European Tour’s season-ending Dubai Ladies Masters.

The top-ranked Swede had an 11-under 133 total on the Emirates Golf Club’s Majlis Course. Australia’s Karrie Webb (68) was 6 under, and Italy’s Sophie Sandolo (71), England’s Trish Johnson (67) and Spain’s Tania Elosegui Mayor (70) were 5 under.

France’s Gwladys Noceras, in position to take the money title from English star Laura Davies with a victory, was 11 strokes back after a 73. Davies is skipping the event to play in the LPGA Tour event in South Korea.

Kolon-Hana Bank Championship

GYEONGJU, South Korea (AP) – South Korea’s Joo Mi Kim shot a bogey-free 6-under 66 to take a one-stroke lead over defending champion Jee Young Lee after the first round o the LPGA Tour’s Kolon-Hana Bank Championship.

Kim, a playoff winner in the season-opening SBS Open in Hawaii, holed a 60-yard shot for an eagle on the par-4 sixth hole on the Mauna Ocean Golf Club course.

Paula Creamer was two strokes back along with South Korea’s Hee-Won Han, Jeong Jang and Jin Joo Hong, France’s Karine Icher and England’s Britain’s Lindsey Wright. Han won the Honda LPGA Thailand last week for her second victory of the year.

Se Ri Pak opened with a 74.

World Amateur Team Championship

STELLENBOSCH, South Africa (AP) – Three-time Canadian Amateur champion Richard Scott birdied his final hole to help Canada take a one-stroke lead over the United States after the second round of the World Amateur Team Championship.

Scott, from Kingsville, Ontario, finished with a 4-under 68 on the De Zalze course to share the individual lead at 7 under with the United States’ Chris Kirk, a former teammate at the University of Georgia. Kirk shot a 66 on the Stellenbosch course.

Andrew Parr of London, Ontario, had a 71 and James Love of Calgary, Alberta, added a 75. Only the top two scores count each day, leaving Canada with a 5-under 139 total and an overall score of 10-under 278. Canada won its lone Eisenhower Trophy in 1986.

Longtime amateur star Trip Kuehne added a 70 for the United States, seeking its fourth straight team title. NCAA champion Jonathan Moore of Oklahoma State had a 72.

AP-ES-10-27-06 2032EDT


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