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Woods way back at Aussie; Bland leads by 3 strokes

By Associated Press

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 02:10 a.m. HST, Nov 13, 2010


MELBOURNE, Australia » Tiger Woods failed to make up any ground today in the Australian Masters with an even-par 71 that left him resigned to going an entire year without a victory.

"Unfortunately, I'm so far back that I've got to play a great round, and then I need help," Woods said. "The only thing I can control is hopefully to go out there and put a low one on the board."

On a rainy day at Victoria Golf Club, Woods missed three putts inside 5 feet on his opening six holes and didn't even beat Kieran Pratt, a 22-year-old Australian making his professional debut. Pratt shot a 70.

Woods was at 1-under 212 and will need the biggest comeback of his year to win. That's been the case most of the year.

Adam Bland, who is headed to the second stage of PGA Tour qualifying school next week in California, padded his lead to three shots. Bland was at 10 under par, chased by Daniel Gaunt and Andre Stolz.

Woods made a birdie on the final hole to keep him under par for the tourney.

"Again, I struggled with the pace of the greens," Woods said.

"I left countless putts short, got off to a bad start the first couple of holes. Consequently, I didn't get anything going. I had a hard time making the adjustment."

 

Creamer leads by one

U.S. Women's Open champion Paula Creamer shot a 6-under 66 yesterday to take a one-stroke lead over Norway's Suzann Pettersen in the Lorena Ochoa Invitational.

Creamer birdied two of the final three holes to reach 10 under on the Guadalajara Country Club course.

"I'm pleased with the way I'm hitting the ball, and I'm putting very well," Creamer said. "Consistently, I'm rolling the putts the way that I want to, and that's all I can ask for is to give myself as many opportunities as I can."

Creamer finished second last year, two strokes behind Michelle Wie. Wie withdrew after shooting a first-round 78 because of an ailing back. Wie said she took an MRI, which revealed two little cysts near her spine.

Ochoa followed her first-round 74 with a 71 on her home course, leaving her 26th at 1 over in her first LPGA Tour event since retiring in April.

First-round leader Cristie Kerr, who opened with a tournament-record 64, shot a 76. She had two back-nine double bogeys.

Pettersen had a 65, matching Meena Lee for the best round of the day in the 35-player field.

 

Thatcher takes Disney lead

All Roland Thatcher wanted to do this week was prepare for qualifying school. He even joked with his amateur partners that he was treating the PGA Tour finale as a practice round.

"Obviously," Thatcher said, "the goal has changed."

Thatcher eased through the toughest of the two courses in the second round of the Children's Miracle Network Classic yesterday, shooting a 9-under 63 to take a four-shot lead over Chris Stroud and Brian Gay.

Thatcher began the week 179th on the money list, and needs to finish alone in second place to vault into the top 125 - the cutoff for full status next year. Nos. 126-150 will get conditional status. "Pun intended, I wouldn't mind being referred to as Cinderella for the week," he said.






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