Curtis atop field in rain-affected event

SAN ANTONIO — Ben Curtis can't pick his schedule like the old days. The 2003 British Open champion, whose status has sunk near the lowest on the PGA Tour, now waits for the phone to ring to find out whether tournaments can squeeze him in.

But heading into this weekend, at least, he's back in control.

Wrapping up his second round at the Texas Open just before Friday's two-hour storm delay left behind a stiff wind that protected the early leaders, Curtis shot another bogey-free 5-under 67 to finish at 10-under 134. He was two strokes ahead of David Mathis and three up on Cameron Triangle and Matt Every.

Mathis matched Curtis at 67, Triangle had 65, and Every was poised to inch closer before play was suspended because of darkness. He'll have an 11-foot birdie chance on the par-4 17th when second-round play resumes today.

"We'll see how it goes over the weekend," Curtis said. "When you're not playing the schedule that you want, you don't have it all laid out in front of you before the year starts, you're kind of playing when you can. It's hard."

Curtis started the year on the European Tour. The Texas Open is just his fourth PGA Tour stop because of his low conditional status following a miserable 2011, when he didn't muster a top-10 finish for the first time since joining the tour in 2003.

That was the year Curtis came out of nowhere to win the British Open. He racked up two more tour victories in 2006 but hasn't won since, and his 149th ranking on the money list last year was a career worst.

CHAMPIONS: Brad Bryant and Tom Purtzer teamed to shoot 12-under 60 to take the first-round lead at the Legends of Golf in Savannah, Ga. The score was one shot off the course record set in 2008 by Tom Watson and Andy North at the best-ball event. Four teams were two strokes back at 62, including Michael Allen, coming off Sunday's win in the Encompass Insurance Pro-Am at TPC Tampa Bay in Lutz, and partner David Frost.

LPGA: Ai Miyazato shot 2-under 70 in difficult wind to take a three-shot lead into the final round of the Lotte Championship in Kapolei, Hawaii. The seven-time tour winner had a 10-under 206 total. Azahara Munoz (73), tied for the second-round lead with Miyazato, and Cristie Kerr (71) were second. Top-ranked Yani Tseng was 6 under along with four others. Seminole's Brittany Lincicome (73) was tied for 16th at 2 under.

JURISPRUDENCE: Australia's Matthew Giles was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving after he crashed his car into a home southeast of Phoenix, authorities said. Giles, 22, who lives in Scottsdale, Ariz., crashed Monday night into a single-family home in Gilbert, a police report said.

Curtis atop field in rain-affected event 04/20/12 [Last modified: Friday, April 20, 2012 11:41pm]

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