Singh opens hot, leads Mercedes by 2


Vijay Singh looked as if he might close out the Mercedes Championships in Kapalua, Hawaii, after shooting a 30 on the front side yesterday. But the world's No. 1 relented a bit on the backside, making only two birdies.

As a result, Singh had to "settle" for a 65 during the second round. At 15-under par, he has a two-shot lead over Mike Weir at the Plantation Course.

"I had a great start and got it going," Singh said. "My goal was to make some birdies and stay ahead. On the back nine, I couldn't make many putts. I still played solid."

Weir spent most of his break practicing, rather than playing, so he wasn't expecting much this week.

Well, Weir must have been working on the right thing, as evidenced by his 63 yesterday.

"I knew I was going to have to shoot a low score," Weir said.

Tiger Woods once again struggled with the greens on the Plantation Course. He shot a 68, which left him five shots behind Singh. After failing to capitalize on several opportunities on the tricky greens, Woods took a bow when he finally made a birdie putt on 14. He finished with a three-putt for par on the par-5 18th.

"I had my chances, but I just didn't do it," Woods said. "I just have to find a way to hit the ball closer to the hole so I can make some putts."

Off the course

LPGA Tour: Ty Votaw, 42, the tour's commissioner since 1999, said he will step down after the 2005 season, ending a tenure highlighted by a strong, secure schedule that offers more prize money than ever.

The Chicago Tribune is a Tribune Publishing newspaper. The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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