Weir seizes second round lead at Hawaii PGA opener | other | Hindustan Times
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Weir seizes second round lead at Hawaii PGA opener

other Updated: Jan 05, 2008 12:56 IST

AFP
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Former Masters champion Mike Weir fired a six-under 67 to take a one-shot lead after the second round of the 5.5 million dollar PGA Mercedes-Benz Championship.

The 37-year-old Canadian posted a bogey-free round on Friday, moving to eight under 138 after 36 holes.

"It was easier out there with the wind not as strong," Weir said. "I'm pretty happy. Things are going good so far for it being the first tournament of the season."

Weir's countryman Stephen Ames is in second one stroke back at seven under after shooting a 67 on the Plantation Course at Kapalua. American Jonathan Byrd is also at seven-under heading into the third round.

"I guess the winters are pretty bad in Canada," Weir said. "There are more Canadians down here than normal. We should have a pretty good day tomorrow."

Weir carded five birdies and three bogeys for an opening 71 on Thursday on the course which is the lone par-73 layout on the PGA Tour.

Ames registered seven birdies and a bogey, while Byrd carded a 69 that included five birdies and a bogey.

The winner of the 2003 Masters, Weir played the front nine in four-under, including an eagle at the par-five ninth. He seized the lead with two birdies on the back nine at Nos. 15 and 18.

"The back nine was uneventful until 15," Weir said. "I hit two shots in front of the green. I pitched it up to about a foot.

"I made a nice up-and-down on 16 and 17 from the front of the greens, shortish putts, maybe about a four-footer and a three-footer on 16 and 17.

And then 18, rolled in a nice putt from probably 15 feet or so, 18 feet, so a good way to finish."

Ames has things going pretty good as well, especially considering he got into this winners-only event with a win at the final tournament on the 2007 PGA Tour schedule -- the Children's Miracle Network Classic.

Ames said he has done surprisingly little to prepare for this event.

"No (practice rounds). This is a family vacation. It's still a family vacation. Golf is getting in the way," he joked.

He birdied Nos. two and four before a bogey at the seventh. Ames bounced back from his lone miscue of the round with consecutive birdies to close out the front nine.

A set of birdies at 14 and 15 and another at 18 put Ames right in contention as he hopes to start the new season just as he ended the last one.

"There are still some things I have to work on for sure, but I think overall I'm happy with the way I'm hitting it," Ames said.

Defending champion Vijay Singh signed for a 70 and is tied for 17th at two-under.