Weir birdies final three holes of second round

Updated: February 10, 2006, 9:17 PM ET
Associated Press

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. -- Mike Weir closed with three birdies at Poppy Hills to finish with a 5-under 67 on Friday, moving into the lead after two rounds at the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.

Weir finished his first nine holes in even par, but after the turn he moved briskly up the leaderboard as first-round leader Luke Donald sputtered through his round at Pebble Beach.

Arron Oberholser followed up his first-round 65 with a 4-under 68 at Spyglass Hill to move into second place at 11-under, three shots back of Weir. Oberholser will play Pebble Beach on Saturday.

Jonathan Byrd and Fredrik Jacobson were tied with Donald at 10-under.

Players basked in the sun on Thursday but on Friday the coastal fog rolled in, sending players to their bags for longer clubs to carve through the moist air. A slight wind also tested Weir early, but he made a strong move late in his round.

"I birdied my last three holes, which is a great way to finish," Weir said.

A few par-saving putts about midway through the day kept Weir afloat, and he said he started swinging better during the latter part of the round. Weir stares down Spyglass Hill on Saturday, a course where he has not fared as well as the other two tournament courses.

"I haven't been able to pinpoint it, really," he said. "Some years I haven't putted those greens very well. Other years I haven't hit it well there."

In sharp contrast to Weir's history there, Donald scorched Spyglass Hill on Thursday, matching Phil Mickelson's course record 62. But he failed to capitalize on that quick start and turned in an even-par 72 Friday, giving him a total of 134 for the first two rounds.

Donald said the wind and fog at Pebble Beach made his round tougher. It set upon his foursome as they waited on the second tee.

"It got considerably colder and it was just hard to keep your hands warm, hard to keep your rhythm," Donald said.

A cold putter also got the best of Donald on Friday, he admitted.

"There were a number of putts which I would have hoped to have made that I didn't make today," he said. "It was a grind out there on the greens and it got frustrating at times."

A fortunate bounce off the rocks below the seawall on No. 18 saved Donald from a worse score. With 236 yards to the front of the green for his second shot, Donald pulled the ball left and it caromed off the rocks and into the bunker. He got up and down nicely from there for birdie.

Vijay Singh and Chris DiMarco looked to make up ground on Donald and Weir early at Spyglass Hill, but they came up short as the tough, tree-lined course challenged them to keep their drives straight.

Their foursome started on the par-4 No. 10 at Spyglass Hill, and Singh was the first to flinch. He pulled his first drive to the left, leaving him a second shot from the thick rough. He blasted out, but banged his shot off a nearby tree and had to watch his ball ricochet wildly to the left into an adjacent fairway. After a scramble, Singh missed his long par putt and bogeyed the hole.

Spyglass held Singh in check and he finished with an up-and-down 1-under 71, for a two-round total of 139. He's tied for 31st at 5-under.

DiMarco fared only slightly better, going out in even par and finishing with a 69 and a total of 137 heading into Saturday. He finished the day tied for 11th at 7-under.

Weir hit nine of 13 fairways and made both of his sand save opportunities in the second round.

Mickelson shot a 2-over 74 at Spyglass Hill for a halfway total of 141.


Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press