Donald stumbles at Disney
Lake Buena Vista - World No 1 Luke Donald stumbled chasing golf history on Friday while Justin Leonard, Henrik Stenson and South Korean Bi-o Kim shared the lead at the PGA Tour's season-ending event.
US veteran Leonard, the 1997 British Open winner, fired a nine-under par 63 to stand with Kim and Stenson on 12-under 132 after 36 holes at the $4.7 million Children's Miracle Network Hospitals Classic at Disney World resort.
Britain's Donald, trying to become the first golfer to win the European and US PGA money titles in the same year, fired a 71 to fall from a share of the 18-hole lead into a share of 14th, five strokes off the pace.
"It was very ugly. It wasn't very good at all," Donald said. "Obviously, it's not the hardest course in the world, but I didn't do many things well."
Rookie Kim, the youngest tour player at 21, fired a 65 in his second round, while Sweden's Stenson shot a bogey-free 64 to make Donald's quest tougher.
Donald leads second-place Rory McIlroy in the European Order of Merit by 1.6 million euros and was atop the US list until American Webb Simpson passed him last week to stand on $6,200,243, leading Donald by $363,029.
The Englishman can finish no worse than a two-way share of second to beat Simpson, who shot 69 on Friday to match Donald on 137.
They will be playing partners on Saturday for the third day in a row on the Palm course, one of two used in the event.
Donald, playing on the Magnolia course, took a bogey at the par-4 seventh but began the back nine with a birdie. He birdied the par-3 12th and 15th holes but could not solve the par-5 14th, taking a bogey.
"It's disappointing, but sometimes you're going to have rounds like that," Donald said. "I'm going to have to go pretty low on the weekend.
"(Would) be nice to shoot a low one tomorrow, get in the mix, and make this one a bit fun for me and everyone else."
If Donald wins the top prize of $846,000, Simpson would have to finish alone in second for $507,600 in runner-up money to deny Donald the title.
If Donald finishes as the lone runner-up, Simpson must finish no worse than alone in eighth place, worth $145,700, to edge Donald. If Donald shares second for $413,600, Simpson needs at least a four-way share of 21st to stay on top.
Kim, playing at the Magnolia course, opened with a birdied, added another at the par-5 fourth and had back-to-back birdies at the seventh and eighth holes.
He birdied the 11th hole before taking his lone bogey at the par-3 12th, responding with birdies at the par-5 14th and birdies at 16 and 17 to grab a share of the lead.
"I putted great, hit the ball better than last couple months, so that's always good," Kim said.
Kim, 168th on the money list, must win of finish second to keep his playing rights for next year. Otherwise he faces the tour qualifying school tournament to try and win a 2012 berth.
"If I'm lucky enough to keep my card this week, it will be great," Kim said. "If I have to go to Q-School again, then I'll just play as hard as I can."
Kim, seeking his first top-10 showing of the year, underwent surgery in South Korea to correct an irregular heartbeat after nearly collapsing at an event at Greenbrier in July.
"I practiced before I took the surgery and had about a week I didn't touch a club," he said. "After that it was totally fine. Doctor said I could play."
Leonard, seeking his 13th career US PGA title and first since 2008, fired a bogey-free round on the Palm course.
Leonard opened with a birdie at the par-5 first and added another at the par-4 fourth. He powered through the par-5 holes with birdies at the seventh and 11th and an eagle at the 14th followed by three birdies in a row.
"I've played my way into a great position," Leonard said. "I caught fire a little bit, which is something that I've been trying to make happen for the last few months."
Leonard, who turns 40 next June, wants to reclaim the form that made him a major champion 14 years ago.
"Do I have the desire to get back to where I once was? Absolutely," he said. "I'm not 40 yet. I've got some really good golf still in my future."
Stenson opened with a birdie on the Palm course and began a run of three birdies in four holes at the par-4 fifth. He birdied the par-4 13th, eagled the 14th and birdied the par-3 16th.
Leading scores on Friday after the second round of the $4.7 million PGA Tour event at Walt Disney World Resort (USA unless noted, par-72):
132 - Justin Leonard 69-63, Bi-o Kim (KOR) 67-65, Henrik Stenson (SWE) 68-64
134 - Nick O'Hern (AUS) 68-66
135 - Michael Allen 69-66, Matt Bettencourt 68-67, Gary Woodland 66-69
136 - Brandt Jobe 69-67, Kris Blanks 67-69, Kevin Chappell 70-66, James Driscoll 66-70, Jeff Maggert 69-67, William McGirt 67-69
137 - Webb Simpson 68-69, Luke Donald (GBR) 66-71, Nathan Green (AUS) 66-71, Cameron Tringale 69-68, Tom Pernice 68-69, Derek Lamely 66-71
138 - Alexandre Rocha (BRA) 69-69, David Hearn (CAN) 71-67, Greg Chalmers (AUS) 70-68, Steven Bowditch (AUS) 67-71, Arjun Atwal (IND) 66-72
139 - Sunghoon Kang (KOR) 68-71
140 - Charlie Wi (KOR) 70-70, John Senden (AUS) 70-70, Michael Sim (AUS) 72-68, Trevor Immelman (RSA) 72-68, Retief Goosen (RSA) 68-72, Jarrod Lyle (AUS) 68-72, Fabian Gomez (ARG) 73-67
141 - Ryuji Imada (JPN) 71-70
Failed to qualify:
142 - Aron Price (AUS) 71-71
144 - Stephen Ames (CAN) 73-71, Matt Jones (AUS) 75-69, Justin Rose (GBR) 75-69, Brian Davis (GBR) 74-70
145 - Steve Elkington (AUS) 73-72, Rod Pampling (AUS) 76-69
146 - Matt McQuillan (CAN) 73-73
148 - Richard S. Johnson (SWE) 76-72
150 - Chris Baryla (CAN) 74-76
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