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Who leads Texas Open? Oh, just seven guys

SAN ANTONIO, Texas — PGA Tour rookie Brendan Steele wrangled the winds and nearly emerged at the Texas Open solely atop the leaderboard.

But on the tour's toughest day in years, no one got off that easy.

Steele carried the lead before double-bogeying the par-4 15th then blew a chance to reclaim it by missing a 6-footer for birdie on the final hole, keeping him in a rare seven-way tie atop the leaderboard at 3-under 141 on Friday.

That is tied for the second-most crowded leaderboard in the PGA Tour after 36 holes since 1970. Strong winds prevented anyone from breaking out, and Friday's average round of 75.289 was the highest on the tour since the 2008 British Open.

"I got pretty beat up out there," Steele said. "I think we all kind of did."

After missing what would've been his fifth birdie, Steele tapped in at No. 18 to finish at par 72. He shared the lead with Geoff Ogilvy (72), Rich Beem (70), Kevin Sutherland (70), Charley Hoffman (73), Brandt Snedeker (72), and Kevin Chappell (73).

A day that began with 5 under leading the pace was undone by winds that whipped higher than 30 mph. Players helplessly watched tee shots sail into the woods, and just 13 players shot under par Friday after 50 subpar scores in the first round.

Defending champion Adam Scott followed his opening-round 68 with 74. But on a day like this, 2 over was good enough to leave the Masters runnerup and three others a stroke back.

"I can't imagine anyone really running away with it," he said.

A seven-way tie after 36 holes hasn't been seen on the tour since the 1977 Westchester. The record was an eight-way tie at the 2001 Greater Hartford Open.

The cut was 4-over 148, tied for second highest on the tour this season. Among those cut was Kevin Na, who in the windy conditions never stood a chance at overcoming his 16-stroke meltdown on No. 9 in the first round. He finished at 13 over.

McIlroy rebounds: Rory McIlroy is rebounding quite nicely after his collapse in the final round of the Masters.

The 21-year-old from Northern Ireland shot 8-under 64 in the rain-shortened second round of the Malaysian Open in Kuala Lumpur and shares the lead with Alexander Noren (69) at 11-under 133.

McIlroy said he's in "great position" heading into this weekend.

Play was halted for nearly three hours before it resumed, and it was suspended because of thunder and lightning.

Masters champion Charl Schwartzel was among 77 players who didn't finish their rounds.

Who leads Texas Open? Oh, just seven guys 04/15/11 [Last modified: Friday, April 15, 2011 10:32pm]
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