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The Verizon Classic gets new director

David W. Porter, a former executive with Florida Power, has been named tournament director for the Verizon Classic, the Senior PGA Tour's stop in Tampa.

Porter, 43, replaces Kris Kilgard, 26, tournament director for the past two years, who is taking a similar job at the Allianz Championship in Des Moines, Iowa. Both events are run by Pro Links Sports.

"As an avid amateur golfer, this is the job of a lifetime," Porter said. "I'm looking forward to it."

Porter begins his new duties immediately. After a transition period, Kilgard will leave next month for his new position in Iowa.

Porter spent five years as vice president of custom markets for Florida Power in St. Petersburg. He was that company's liaison to the Verizon Classic.

The 2002 Verizon Classic is Feb. 15-17 at the TPC of Tampa Bay.

FUTURES QUALIFYING: First-round leader Christina Kim shot 3-under 69 for a 36-hole total of 6-under 138 to maintain her lead after the second round in Lakeland. Kim held a five-shot lead over Jamie Stevenson and Rebecca Stevenson.

Fifteen-year-old Aree Wongluekiet of Bradenton and Kareen Qually were tied for fourth with 144. Naree Wongluekiet, Aree's twin sister, was tied for 14th with 148.

WORLD CUP: Once, the team of Tiger Woods and David Duval would have seemed unbeatable.

But now, with a strong field for the tournament in Gotemba, Japan, and questions about Woods' back injury, the pairing no longer is certain to retain the title.

"I think we're ranked pretty high," Woods said after a practice round. "I know that I'm starting to play well. I was in China on Saturday and Sunday and hit the ball really well down there."

The four-day tournament begins today at the Taiheiyo Club course at the foot of Mount Fuji. Two-man teams from 24 nations will take part.

_ Times staff writer Bob Harig contributed to this report.