Maggert takes PODS lead before play called

The Baltimore Sun

The wind was blowing hard enough to sweep sand out of the bunkers and knock down scores yesterday at the PGA PODS Championship in Palm Harbor, Fla. Jeff Maggert used it to his advantage.

Starting his second round with the wind at his back, Maggert birdied three of his opening four holes and hung on long enough to be leading by three shots at the turn when play was suspended for the rest of the day because of storms.

Maggert was at 8-under-par, three shots ahead of Kenny Perry and D.J. Trahan. For the second day in a row, none of the late starters came close to finishing the round.

About 15 minutes after the siren sounded to stop play, the rainfall intensified. That might not be a bad thing because softer greens at least give players a fighting chance.

"At least it's not cold yet," said Mark Calcavecchia, the defending champion who shot a 1-under 70 and was tied for the clubhouse lead at 3-under 139 with two-time U.S. Open champion Lee Janzen (74), Billy Mayfair (71), Stuart Appleby (73) and Paul Casey (72).

Ernie Els, coming off a win last week in the Honda Classic, birdied his last two holes to salvage a 73, leaving him at 4-over 146.

Champions Toshiba Classic -- Tim Simpson took the first-round lead in Newport Beach, Calif., with a bogey-free, 8-under 63 that left him a shot ahead of 2005 winner Mark Johnson. Defending champion Jay Haas and Bernhard Langer opened with 65s.

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