Tiger lurks behind Baddeley and Byrd
From news services Aaron Baddeley and Jonathan Byrd were well on their way to the top of the leaderboard Friday at the BMW Championship when Tiger Woods figured he better get going if he didn’t want to be left behind. That’s about the time he started losing his swing and finding his putter, which wasn’t a bad combination at Cog Hill in Lemont, Ill. Baddeley returned from a three-hour rain delay by making three straight birdies and finished strong for a 6-under-par 65, giving him a share of the lead with Byrd (69) going into the weekend of the third tournament in these PGA Tour Playoffs. But it was difficult to ignore Woods, whose second straight 67 put him one shot behind along with Barclays winner Steve Stricker (66), Justin Rose (69) and Camilo Villegas (69). Woods is a three-time winner on this public course outside Chicago, and it was not unusual to see him make birdie on all the par 5s and wind up in the thick of contention. How he got there was not so typical. He birdied the par-5 ninth by slicing his tee shot into the woods, pulling his second shot behind more trees and then hooking an 8-iron out of the rough to 15 feet and making the putt. “It’s all about the angles,” he said leaving the green, as if that was the strategy all along. He sliced another tee shot into the right rough on the par-5 11th, left a wedge woefully short of the hole and then made a 40-foot birdie putt, shrugging his shoulders when he slipped the putter into the bag. And on the par-5 15th, he sent his second shot over the green into the bunker, took forever to play the shot because a butterfly kept floating in front of him, then knocked it out to 10 feet and made the putt. “I started out hitting it great, and I felt so bad over the putts,” Woods said. “Then I lost my swing and felt great over the putts. It’s just one of those weird things about golf.” Baddeley and Byrd, both of whom have won on the PGA Tour this year, were at 9-under 133. NW Arkansas Championship Rookie Kristy McPherson shot a 6-under 66 to share the early clubhouse lead at the rain-soaked LPGA event in Rogers, Ark. McPherson, Teresa Lu and Katherine Hull were all a stroke ahead of Sherri Turner. Those four were among the few who finished the first round by the early evening. Heavy rain fell during the morning at Pinnacle Country Club, delaying the start of the 54-hole event by 4 hours. U.S. Women’s Open champion Cristie Kerr was in contention after a 69, but several of the tournament’s top draws started so late they had little hope of finishing. European Masters Oliver Wilson completed a 6-under 65 in a delayed first round, then added a second-round 66 to take the halfway lead in Crans-Sur-Sierre, Switzerland. Wilson, a former student at Augusta State University, was at 11-under 131. Bradley Dredge, the defending champion who led overnight, was a stroke behind at 132 after a second 66. Brett Rumford also had a 66 and was third at 134.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!