|Steve Stricker studies the 15th green before his putt. (RICH SCHULTZ/Associated Press)|
Eagle-eyed Stricker takes lead at The Barclays
Steve Stricker is right at home at Ridgewood Country Club - and the top of The Barclays leaderboard.
A year after winning across the Hudson at Westchester Country Club, the Wisconsin player shot a 7-under-par 64 in perfect morning conditions yesterday to take a three-stroke lead over Hunter Mahan in the
"This reminds me of home to tell you the truth," Stricker said. "This looks like a course that could be very easily in the Midwest somewhere. It reminds me of Medinah a lot. The grasses are the same. We putt on poa annua greens a lot where I'm from. It's bentgrass fairways, bluegrass rough and everything reminds me of home."
The 41-year-old Stricker, 21st in the FedEx Cup standings, had a 10-under 132 total on the tree-lined A.W. Tillinghast layout, the tournament site for the first time after 41 seasons at Westchester. He hasn't made a bogey since dropping strokes on the first two holes Thursday, playing his last 23 holes in 11 under.
"I think the course is in such good shape, that's why the scoring is good," Stricker said. "I think as we get further along, the scoring could get a little bit better just because guys will find a way to play it, understand it a little bit more and feel a little bit more comfortable with what they are doing out there."
Mahan, 31st in the FedEx Cup standings, followed his opening 62 with a 73.
"I probably hit it better than I did [Thursday], but nothing went in," Mahan said.
Kenny Perry, effectively the FedEx Cup leader with top-ranked Tiger Woods sidelined by a knee injury, shot a 67 to join Angel Cabrera (67) and Dudley Hart (69) at 6 under.
Anthony Kim (67), Sergio Garcia (67), Kevin Streelman (70), Charley Hoffman (70), and Paul Casey (71) were 5 under.
Padraig Harrington had rounds of 72 and 73 to miss the cut by two strokes.
LPGA - Angela Park, the 2007 tour rookie of the year, shot a bogey-free 6-under 66 to take a one-stroke lead after the first round of the
Kelli Kuehne was in a group of six tied for second at 67 with Hee Young Park, Song-Hee Kim, Sophie Gustafson, Helen Alfredsson, and Karen Stupples.
Champions - Mark Wiebe birdied four of his first five holes, then added two more on the back nine before dropping a shot on 18 to shoot 67 and give him a share of the first-round lead with Scott Simpson at the
European - Darren Clarke shot a 6-under 64 for an 8-under 132 total to join Robert Rock and Alexander Noren in the lead after the second round of the KLM Open in Zandvoort, Netherlands.
USGA - Adam Mitchell rallied to defeat Charlie Holland, 2 and 1, to join University of Georgia teammate Patrick Reed in the semifinals of US Amateur at Pinehurst, N.C. Reed routed Graham Hill, 4 and 3, and will face New Zealander Danny Lee, a 4-and-3 winner over Morgan Hoffman. Drew Kittleson edged Derek Fathauer, 3 and 2, for the final spot.