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Woods way off under windy conditions

MELBOURNE, Australia — In wind strong enough to blow sand out of the bunkers and kick up dust, Tiger Woods squeezed his eyes shut to clear his vision.

That was the least of his woes Friday in the Australian Masters.

He found himself going back to his old swing, turning in a performance typical of his worst PGA Tour season.

With consecutive bogeys on the back nine that killed his momentum, Woods shot 1-over 72 in the second round and was nine shots behind Adam Bland, who shot 4-under 67.

Bland (10-under 132) had a two-shot lead over Andre Stolz.

Iit was the seventh time in 14 tournaments that Woods was at least nine shots behind going into the weekend.

"It was frustrating because I hit the ball well pretty much off the tee and wasn't quite as sharp with the irons," said Woods, the defending champion.

He was at 141, tied with Camilo Villegas, who shot 70.

PGA: Roland Thatcher eased through the tougher of the two courses in the second round of the Children's Miracle Network Classic, firing 9-under 63 for a four-shot lead over Chris Stroud and Brian Gay in Lake Buena Vista.

Thatcher began the week 179th on the money list and needs to finish alone in second to vault into the top 125 — the cutoff for full status next year. Nos. 126-150 will get conditional status.

"Pun intended, I wouldn't mind being referred to as Cinderella for the week," he said of the Disney event, being played on both the Magnolia and Palm courses in the first two rounds. Thatcher hit 15 of 18 greens and needed only 23 putts on Magnolia.

Stroud, the first-round leader who is 119th on money list, kept his full status by making the cut. Three others barely in the top 125 — Joe Durant (120), former Tampa resident Woody Austin (123) and Michael Allen (124) — missed the cut. Durant should be safe, but Austin and Allen are in danger of falling out.

LPGA: Paula Creamer shot 6-under 66 for a one-stroke lead over Suzann Pettersen in the Lorena Ochoa Invitational in Guadalajara, Mexico. Creamer birdied two of the final three holes to reach 10-under 134 through two rounds. Ochoa followed her first-round 74 with a 71 on her home course, leaving her 26th in her first tour event since retiring in April. Seminole's Brittany Lincicome shot 77 for 12-over 156, last in the 35-player field.

EUROPEAN: Adam Scott shot a second straight 65 to take a two-stroke lead at 12-under 130 over defending champ Ian Poulter after two rounds at the Singapore Open. Masters champion Phil Mickelson was six shots off the pace after shooting 69.

Woods way off under windy conditions 11/12/10 [Last modified: Friday, November 12, 2010 10:52pm]
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