Love III, Holmes tied for Palmer lead
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Davis Love III is trying not to look ahead and concern himself only with the tournaments on his schedule. He gave himself reason to hope yesterday that the Masters might still be on the list.
Love chipped in twice during a five-hole stretch that he played in 6 under early in his round, then finished strong with a 45-foot birdie and an 8-foot par putt that felt just as good for a 6-under 66 and a share of the lead in the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Orlando, Fla.
J.B. Holmes, among the early starters, played bogey-free in calm conditions and also had a 66.
Love is in a position that has become all too familiar of late. He has only two weeks left to earn a trip to Augusta National, which he has not played the last two years. His only chance is to win at Bay Hill or next week in the Houston Open.
He knows that. He's just trying not to think about it.
"It's always in the back of your mind — or the front of your mind," Love said. "After a few weeks where I played kind of poorly ... I was just mentally frazzled. I just said, 'You're going to have to just to play the ones you get in and do the best job you can and quit worrying about everything else.' "
GOLD FOR TAKAHASHI
Without Evan Lysacek and Evgeni Plushenko to push him, Olympic bronze medalist Daisuke Takahashi had to challenge himself.
Takahashi gave Japan its first men's title at the World Figure Skating Championships yesterday at Turin, Italy, and he did it with flair, attempting a rare quadruple flip. Canada's Patrick Chan won the silver for a second straight year and France's Brian Joubert took the bronze.
Takahashi's score for the free skate, 168.40, was his best of the Olympic season, and gave him a total of 257.70 — more than 10 points ahead of Chan.
VENUS WINS OPENER
Venus Williams said she looked "solid" in her opening match at the Sony Ericsson Open, a rather drab adjective considering she played in a red corset.
It was more like an eye-popping victory. Williams began a bid for a fourth Key Biscayne title and her first since 2001 by beating Sorana Cirstea, 6-4, 6-3, last night at Key Biscayne, Fla.
In tomorrow's third round, the No. 3-seeded Williams plays unseeded Roberta Vinci, who beat No. 30 Anabel Medina Garrigues, 6-4, 7-6 (5). With sister Serena sidelined by a knee injury, Venus may be the player to beat.
Top-seeded Svetlana Kuznetsova struggled in her opening match to beat Shuai Peng, 6-2, 3-6, 6-4. Kuznetsova, the 2006 champion, next plays No. 27 Agnes Szavay, who shut out Alicia Molik, 6-0, 6-0.