- The Washington Times - Saturday, May 31, 2008

From combined dispatches

DUBLIN, Ohio - The first sign of hope at the Memorial came from the leader board, which showed Mathew Goggin coming back to the pack after a blazing start. The second sign came from a gray sky that promised relief from a brutal test of golf.

Goggin birdied four of the first five holes before strapping in for a wild ride of birdies and bogeys that ultimately added up to an even-par 72 that tied him for the lead with two-time champion Kenny Perry, who recovered from a rugged start for a 71.

They were at 7-under 137, one shot clear of Jerry Kelly.

All those scores seemed so much lower on a Muirfield Village course that felt like a major with its ankle-deep rough that swallowed up errant shots and greens as slick as glass.

Only three players broke 70 yesterday, with Johnson Wagner turning in a 67. Twenty players couldn’t break 80.

Goggin is the 36-hole leader for the first time on the PGA Tour, and part of him wishes he had it alone. He was bogey-free through seven holes, but then made only two pars the rest of the way. Three straight bogeys preceded a birdie, and he followed that with a double bogey into the water at No. 12, then two more birdies.

“I had seven birdies today, so that was the same,” Goggin said, alluding to his 65 on Thursday. “The five bogeys and a double, well, that was probably a negative.”

Webb sizzles at Ginn

MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. - Karrie Webb continued to show off her Hall of Fame style at the Ginn Tribute - and just in time, Annika Sorenstam did, too.

Webb shot a 66 and shared the lead at 13 under with Sophie Gustafson (65) after two rounds of the LPGA tournament.

Sorenstam also had a 66, her lowest score in six career rounds at RiverTowne Country Club, and moved from a tie for 60th on Thursday into a tie for eighth.

Losing Sorenstam would have been an additional blow to the second-year event, which lost the world’s best player when Lorena Ochoa withdrew to be with her uncle, who died in Mexico, according to Ochoa’s Web site.

Eaks, Nielsen tied

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa - R.W. Eaks and Lonnie Nielsen shot 5-under 66s to share the first-round lead at the Champions Tour Principal Charity Classic.

Joey Sindelar, Tom Purtzer, Kirk Hanefeld and Mark McNulty were one stroke back.

Eaks - who has battled through serious knee trouble all season - showed he might be ready to break out of his slump. He finished tied for eighth in his last event, the Regions Charity Classic, but that’s his only top-10 finish in 2008. Eaks won twice and finished sixth on the money list in 2007.

Strange surges

NEWPORT, Wales - Scott Strange shot a 5-under 66 and extended his lead to four strokes after two rounds of the Wales Open.

Strange was four shots ahead of Jeev Singh (68), Alvaro Velasco (68), Benn Barham (64) and English tour rookie Robert Dinwiddie, who eagled the last hole for a 65.

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