Justin Leonard described his round yesterday at Disney as a “fun, easy day,’’ and it was every bit of that. He had a 9-under-par 63 for his lowest round of the year, putting him in a tie for the lead with Henrik Stenson and Bio Kim at the Children’s Miracle Network Classic in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
It was only after his round that he felt as though he was on Thunder Mountain without ever leaving the golf course.
Leonard is at No. 144 on the PGA Tour money list and not the least bit worried about keeping his card because he already is exempt through 2012. Because of a misprint in the media guide, reporters didn’t understand how he was exempt, leading to confusion - and a brief spell of panic for Leonard - while tour officials researched the regulations to confirm the answer.
By the time he headed for the Magic Kingdom for the parade with his four children, all was well. The leaders were at 12-under 132, two shots clear of Nick O’Hern. Gary Woodland was in the group at 9-under 135.
Webb Simpson and Luke Donald are battling for the money title, and they both played the opening two rounds at 7-under 137, meaning they will be paired again today. Simpson has a $363,029 lead, so the third round looms large for Donald.
The stress is at the bottom. The players at Nos. 123, 124, and 125 - D.J. Trahan, Bobby Gates, and James Driscoll of Brookline - all made the cut. The top 125 retain their PGA Tour cards.
Simpson had a bogey on the final hole for a 69. Donald battled a sinus infection and a lack of energy on his way to a 71 as they at least stayed in the game.
To win the money title, Donald can finish no worse than a two-way tie for second, provided Simpson finishes down the leaderboard.
LPGA - Azahara Munoz shot a 6-under 66 to share the lead with Anna Nordqvist after the second round of the inaugural Taiwan Championship at Yang Mei.
Nordqvist had a 68 to finish tied with Munoz at 7-under 137, two shots ahead of top-ranked Yani Tseng (71) and Candie Kung (68).
European - Hometown favorite Sergio Garcia shot an 8-under 63 to take a two-shot lead at the Castello Masters in Spain.
Nationwide - Gavin Coles and Brian Stuard each shot 6-under 64 to join Tim Wilkinson (67-134) atop the Winn-Dixie Jacksonville Open at Ponte Vedra, Fla. Geoff Sisk of Marshfield shot 69, but is nine shots back.
US Open champion Rory McIlroy split from agent Chubby Chandler to join Ryder Cup partner Graeme McDowell at Horizon, a Dublin management company.