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Levin's big shot puts him at top

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Spencer Levin took one last drag on his cigarette, stamped it out in the rough and climbed into the bunker behind the 17th green. He set up, took a quick glance at the hole and splashed out.

The ball landed about 10 feet from the hole, bounced twice and rolled into the cup for an eagle on the par 4, pushing him to 14 under par Friday in the second round of the Phoenix Open.

A few minutes — and another cigarette — later, he parred the 18th for 8-under 63 and a three-stroke lead at 128.

"Hopefully, I can just keep trying to believe in myself and just keep trying to make my swing, and we'll see what happens," Levin said. "I'm going to give it my best shot. It should be fun. I'm looking forward to it."

Harrison Frazar was 6 under for the round and 11 under overall with three holes left at TPC Scottsdale when play was suspended because of darkness with 34 players yet to complete the round. Frost delayed the start for an hour for the second straight day.

"There toward the end it was getting kind of tough to control the ball and to see it," said Frazar, the St. Jude Classic winner last year. "The temperature dropped, so the ball flies a little differently."

Webb Simpson, the highest-ranked player in the field at No. 6, was third at 8 under along with rookie John Huh (66). Simpson shot 69 in the last group to finish.

"That was probably the darkest I've ever played," Simpson said. "I couldn't really see anything."

Phil Mickelson shot 70 to reach 4-under 138.

Kyle Stanley (66) was 7 under coming off of a devastating defeat Sunday in which he lost a three-stroke lead on the final hole of the Farmers Insurance Open, then lost a playoff to Brandt Snedeker.

Levin, 27, remembered for a hole-in-one and 13th-place tie in the 2004 U.S. Open at Shinnecock while still in school at New Mexico, is winless on the PGA Tour. Last year he lost a playoff to Johnson Wagner in the Mayakoba Golf Classic.

WOMEN: U.S. Open champion So Yeon Ryu shot 11-under 61 to take a four-stroke lead at 17-under 127 after two rounds of the Australian Ladies Masters in Gold Coast. Lexi Thompson, 16, of Coral Springs was tied for ninth, 10 strokes behind the lead, after shooting 70. Tampa's Cindy LaCrosse (70—144) missed the cut by a shot. The event is co-sanctioned by the European and Australian tours.

Levin's big shot puts him at top 02/03/12 [Last modified: Friday, February 3, 2012 11:26pm]

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