Play­ers tied for lead have home-state edge

Los Angeles Times - - Sports -

For­mer Ge­or­gia Tech star Troy Mat­te­son shot an eight-un­der-par 64 on Fri­day for a share of the sec­ond-round lead in the AT&T Clas­sic at Du­luth, Ga., with for­mer Univer­sity of Ge­or­gia player Ryuji Imada.

Mat­te­son and Imada (67) had 10-un­der 134 to­tals on the Greg Norman-de­signed TPC Su­gar­loaf. And both failed to take full ad­van­tage of the 18th hole, a par five that gave up 20 ea­gles in the sec­ond round. Imada birdied the 18th, and Mat­te­son made par.

D.J. Brigman (67) was a stroke back, and first-round leader Kevin Suther­land (71) fol­lowed at eight un­der. Masters cham­pion Zach John­son (66) was seven un­der along with Camilo Vil­le­gas (67) and Craig Kanada (70).

John­son, the 2004 tour­na­ment win­ner, gained six shots on the field with his 66.

Mat­te­son, who five years ago be­came the first Ge­or­gia Tech player to win an NCAA in­di­vid­ual ti­tle, ex­pects to en­gage in some trash talk with Imada, the best player on the Ge­or­gia team that won the 1999 NCAA team cham­pi­onship.

Even though he at­tended Ge­or­gia Tech af­ter Imada left Ge­or­gia, the ri­valry be­tween the two schools re­mains in­tense.

“You know, ob­vi­ously we hated one an­other in school, but we’re pretty good friends now,” Mat­te­son said.

If Imada wins “or a Tech guy wins, it’s al­ways a lit­tle bit of brag­ging rights to take home with you, but it’s all in good fun now.”

Hours af­ter Sarah Lee com­pleted her morn­ing round, topranked Lorena Ochoa birdied five of her fi­nal eight holes for a five-un­der 67 and a share of the sec­ond-round lead with Lee.

Ochoa and Lee (69) had nine­un­der 135 to­tals. Jane Park (68) was two strokes back, and Juli Inkster (68), Brit­tany Lin­ci­come (71), Sherri Stein­hauer (69) and Young Jo (67) fol­lowed at five un­der.

Ochoa, who won the Sy­base last year when it was played at Wyk­agl Coun­try Club in New Rochelle, N.Y., hasn’t won since tak­ing over the No. 1 rank­ing from An­nika Soren­stam last month, though she has two top-five fin­ishes in three tour­na­ments.

Seve Balles­teros got off to a ter­ri­ble start in his Cham­pi­ons Tour de­but, open­ing with a dou­ble bo­gey and fin­ish­ing with a six-over 78 to fall 13 strokes be­hind leader Scott Hoch in the Re­gions Char­ity Clas­sic at Hoover, Ala.

Balles­teros has played only two tour­na­ments in the last two years, the Bri­tish Open last year and the Masters last month.

Hoch, com­ing off his first Cham­pi­ons Tour vic­tory two weeks ago in the FedEx Kinko’s Clas­sic, had a seven-un­der 65 to open a three-stroke lead over Rod Spit­tle, Bob Gilder, Fuzzy Zoeller and Tom Kite. It’s the largest first-round lead on the tour this year.

John Som­mers Getty Images

BAD START: Seve Balles­teros, chip­ping out of the woods, shot 78 in his Cham­pi­ons Tour de­but. He’s 13 strokes be­hind.

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