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Saturday, 15 February, 2003, 03:16 GMT
Woods poised to strike
Friday's round-up

Buick Invitational Classic

Tiger Woods
Woods' improved second round brought him into contention
Brad Faxon and Marco Dawson shared the second-round lead in the $4.5m Buick Invitational on Friday, with world number one Tiger Woods just two shots back.

Woods, playing his first event of 2003 after surgery in December, followed up his opening round 70 with a fine 66 to fire a warning that he is coming back to form.

Faxon and Dawson were both 10 under after two rounds, with Fred Funk, Jonathan Kaye, Dennis Paulson, Briny Baird and first-round leader Arron Oberholser on nine under.

Woods was accompanied by Neal Lancaster, Bob Tway and New Zealand's Steven Alker on eight under.

Northern Ireland's Darren Clarke was a shot further back after hitting a second round 69.

Leading scores
10 under:
Marco Dawson
Brad Faxon
Nine under:
Arron Oberholser
Briny Baird
Fred Funk
Jonathan Kaye
Dennis Paulson
Eight under
Steven Alker
Bob Tway
Tiger Woods
Neal Lancaster

After completing his rain-delayed first round on the easier Torrey Pines North course, Woods lit up the South course for a six-under-par 66 that included a chip-in eagle at the par-five ninth, his last hole of the day.

"The pitch shot is something I've been working on because it's all I could do for a while," he said after the round.

"I had a pretty good feel for it, and I had to get up there and trust it. It came off great."

Dawson, 39, who has never won an event, continued his good form hitting a bogey-free 66 to follow up his opening 68.

"Last week I started making a few more putts," Dawson said.

"This week, I started to make some putts, and I felt real comfortable on my long putts.

Faxon, 42, said he was pleased the damp conditions had improved.

"We played eight holes in swampy conditions yesterday but it was perfect today," Faxon said.

This week's golf from around the world

Daily round-up

GOLF STATISTICS
See also:

29 Jan 03 | Golf
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