Scott tops Memorial after 2nd-round 62
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DUBLIN, Ohio — Being named to Maria Sharapova's 10-member dream team of mixed doubles partners barely drew a blush from Adam Scott yesterday.
"She must know I'm a pretty good tennis player," Scott said.
Mentioned by Sharapova in an April story in the Russian newspaper Pravda, Scott had to feel in good company with LeBron James, Prince William and Orlando Bloom. But Vladimir Putin?
"I'm not sure about her taste in men," Scott quipped.
Physiques aside, Sharapova showed foresight in tabbing two of the world's hottest athletes.
The Cavaliers' James looked Jordanesque in leading Cleveland past Detroit in Thursday's Eastern Conference finals. Little more than 12 hours later, Scott flirted with the PGA Tour's record of 59 and shot a 10-under-par 62 in the second round of the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village Golf Club.
Scott turned in the second-lowest round in Memorial history, surpassed only by John Huston's course-record 61 in the second round in 1996. Playing in the sixth group when the greens were still pristine, Scott birdied 11 holes and eight out of nine in a span starting at No. 4. His lone bogey came at No. 16, when he put his tee shot in a bunker and missed a 12-footer for par.
Scott's 12-under 132 total was one off the low 36-hole score by Scott Hoch in 1987 and gave him a one-shot lead over Rod Pampling (68-133). Bubba Watson (68) and Aaron Baddeley (68) were two strokes back at 134.
Playing partner and defending champion Carl Pettersson said of Scott, "It could have easily been a 59. He had plenty of chances. He could have been two better on the front and probably two better on the back."
When Scott's close friend Geoff Ogilvy, the 2006 U.S. Open champion, was told Scott missed three putts from inside eight feet, Ogilvy said, "He should be snapping his putter then."
Replied Scott, "I hit great putts on 1 and 3 that caught a piece of the hole and didn't go in. But I'm not going to say I'm disappointed with a 62."
Scott, Pampling and Baddeley led an Australian assault on the leaderboard. Countrymen Ogilvy (70-67-137) and Nick O'Hern (65-74-139) remained in contention after the field was trimmed from 104 to 73.
Fellow tour members think Scott is on the verge of major success. His performance at Muirfield could bode well for the U.S. Open at Oakmont in two weeks.
"He's won two pretty good tournaments, just hasn't seemed to contend in majors," said Tiger Woods, who shot a 72 and is at 142. "But he's still young. He's got all the talent in the world."
OCHOA OPENS 3-SHOT LEAD IN GINN TRIBUTE
Step aside Annika and Michelle. Lorena Ochoa showed who's the LPGA Tour's true star attraction at the Ginn Tribute at Mount Pleasant, S.C.
Ochoa shot a 5-under 67 yesterday to move to 9 under through two rounds, three shots ahead of first-day leader Angela Park (72) and four in front of Paula Creamer (71).
The world's No. 1 player and already a two-time LPGA Tour winner this season, Ochoa took control at RiverTowne Country Club with her bogey-free round. She carded only one score higher than 4, a par on the par-5 ninth hole, and continued her stellar run with her sixth straight round under 70.
"I'm just trying to enjoy it as much as I can," Ochoa said.
The focus this week had been highly anticipated returns from injury of two of women's golf's biggest names — former No. 1 and tournament host Annika Sorenstam and 17-year-old Michelle Wie.
But with Sorenstam, 1 under after a 71, not close to 100 percent and Wie's withdrawal Thursday after going 14 over for 16 holes, the friendly, polite 25-year-old star from Mexico has so far stolen the show.
She caught tour rookie Park with a 12-foot birdie putt on the par-5 fifth hole, then took the lead for good with 5 foot birdie putt on another par-5, the 11th.
Ochoa added two more birdies, including one after landing in a bunker near the green in two on the par 5 16th.
Teenager MacKinzie Kline, the first in LPGA history to use a cart because of a medical condition, was withdrawn from the tournament because she shot an 89, one more than the tour's "88 rule" that Wie flirted with before withdrawing Thursday.
The 15-year-old Kline, who is barred from LPGA sponsored events through year's end, was more than pleased with her experience. "It was so much fun playing," Kline said.
PURTZER, ROMERO SHARE BOEING LEAD WITH 62S
Tom Purtzer and Eduardo Romero took advantage of perfect scoring conditions yesterday in the Boeing Championship, matching the course record with bogey-free 9-under 62s to share the first-round lead at Destin, Fla.
Jim Thorpe and Jay Haas opened with 64s in the Champions Tour's event, and nine players — including Senior PGA Championship winner Denis Watson — had 65s on the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort's Raven Golf Club course.
"The golf course is defenseless — no wind," Purtzer said. "There were a lot of birdies out there."
Romero, coming off a second-place finish last week in the Senior PGA in Kiawah Island, S.C., narrowly missed a hole-in-one on the 158-yard eighth hole. His ball landed about a foot from the pin.
"My confidence is going up and up and up," Romero said. "This week it's very difficult to beat me because my confidence is very good and my swing is very good."
Purtzer and Romero tied the course record set last year by defending champion Bobby Wadkins, who opened with a 69 yesterday.