- The Washington Times - Saturday, June 7, 2008

From combined dispatches

MEMPHIS, Tenn. | Everyone at the TPC Southwind wanted a nice warmup for the U.S. Open. They got as good a simulation as possible Friday thanks to gusting wind and firm greens that made par an attractive score.

Tommy Armour III double-bogeyed No. 18 and fell into a six-way tie atop the leader board after two rounds at the St. Jude Championship on a day when only 13 players were under par. It was the most players tied for lead at the halfway point on the PGA Tour since a six-way tie last year at the Houston Open.

Armour finished with a 71. He was tied with Gavin Coles, whose 64 was the low round through the first two days; Dean Wilson (68); Jason Dufner (68); Michael Bradley (68); and Marc Turnesa (69) at 3-under 137 - the highest 36-hole total on the PGA Tour since Angel Cabrera at the Open last year when he was at even par-140.

“Thirty-six holes left, I make bogeys and doubles. It’s the way it happens,” Armour said.

Coles credited patience for his six-birdie, bogey-free round in an event in which the cut came at 5 over.

“It’s pretty slow out there really. So you can sort of back off and have another look and sort of take a bit of time, sort of wait for the gusts to go by,” he said. “It was difficult, but you now I think if you putted well today you would have had a pretty decent score. … When I did get in trouble, my putter sort of got me out of it a little.”

Vijay Singh started the day in third, two strokes back of the lead at 3 under. He finished with a 71 and was tied for seventh with Alex Cejka (69), Michael Letzig (68) and Davis Love III (70) at 138.

“I’m glad to get in under par,” Love said.

Six share Austria lead

OBERWALTERSDORF, Austria | Austria’s Martin Wiegele shot a 7-under 64 for a share of the first-round lead in the rain-delayed Bank Austria Open.

Australia’s Scott Barr, Swedes Pelle Edberg and Christian Nilsson, Ireland’s Gary Murphy and Jeev Milkha Singh also opened with 64s in a tournament reduced to 54 holes after rain washed out play Thursday.

Wiegele eagled the par-5 15th to take the lead but finished with two straight bogeys.

“Until then, it was a dream round,” he said. “A shame that my finish wasn’t perfect.”

Paul Lawrie shot a 68, Michael Campbell had a 69 and Darren Clarke a 70. Defending champion Richard Green opened with a 71.

Heavy rain was forecast for the weekend.

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