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LEHMAN LEADS BY FOUR SHOTS; WOODS' FATHER HOSPITALIZED

Tom Lehman struggled with the wind. Tiger Woods struggled with his heart. Both performed like champions in the second round of the Tour Championship.

Lehman played like the British Open winner that he is and shot a 67 in wind that gusted to 30 mph at Southern Hills Country Club for a 36-hole total of 7-under-par 133, four strokes better than Vijay Singh and five in front of Steve Stricker heading into today's third round (1:30 p.m., Ch. 7).

Woods, meanwhile, playing just hours after his father was hospitalized with chest pains likely related to bronchitis, struggled to a 78, his worst round since turning pro.

"I didn't want to be here today," Woods said, "because there are more important things in life than golf, and I love my dad to death and I wouldn't want to see anything happen to him. I just want to go see him."

Clearly frustrated and at times angry, Woods nevertheless impressed his playing partner, John Cook.

"He showed me a lot today and it wasn't golf," Cook said. "You can lose your mind out there and he didn't."

Lehman's mind game was with nature.

"You can make 18 bogeys out there when the wind blows if you lose your head," Lehman said after posting the lowest round of the day. "It can be your friend or be your enemy depending on how you deal with it.

"If I can stay comfortable and in my rhythm (today) it can help me."

Lehman, who has an outside shot to beat out Phil Mickelson and Mark Brooks in player-of-the-year voting if he wins, said that notion has to be pushed aside.

"That's kind of choke time when you think about stuff like that," Lehman said. "So you push that out of your mind."

Lehman started Friday's round 4-under and gave one stroke back after nine holes.

Then he reeled off four consecutive birdies to start the back nine and closed with a 31 to separate himself from the field.

Lehman won the British Open at Royal Lytham in July in warm, calm weather unusual for the northwest coast of England. That was not the case Friday at Southern Hills.

The gusting wind and pin positions tucked devilishly in the corners of the firm, quick greens sent scores soaring in the second round as the course played a cumulative 62-over-par as compared to 35-over in Thursday's opening round.

"If you can get into a rhythm on a windy day, you can still shoot a good score," Lehman said. "But it's just so hard to get that feel for scoring. And if you don't get it, you struggle all day."

Woods, the 20-year-old sensation, was clearly distracted by the hospitalization of his father and, playing on short sleep, shot the worst of his 29 rounds since turning pro two months ago.

Woods' previous high round was a 2-over 73 in the third round of the Greater Milwaukee Open, his first event as a professional.

He trailed Lehman by 15 strokes.

Woods' father, Earl, was taken to a hospital at 3 a.m. and Tiger didn't get back to bed until 5 a.m.

While the elder Woods was reported to be in a non-life-threatening situation, Tiger played a sloppy round in which he missed three consecutive putts under 4 feet and made only two pars on the front nine in shooting 43.

Irwin leads Kaanapali Classic

KAANAPALI, Hawaii -- Hale Irwin, in pursuit of the Senior PGA Tour money title, shot an 8-under-par 63 for a one-stroke lead over defending champion Bob Charles in the Kaanapali Classic.

Irwin, only $11,001 behind playing partner Jim Colbert, opened the 54-hole tournament with five birdies in six holes on the back nine of the Kaanapali Resort's North Course.

Colbert, seeking his sixth title of the year, shot a 6-over 77, ending his string of 14 sub-par rounds.

Bill Holstead and Japan's Masaru Amano were three back at 66, while Australia's Graham Marsh was at 67 along with Charles Coody and Bud Allin going into today's second round (5 p.m., ESPN).

U.S., Japan teams tied

AMI, Japan -- Teams from the U.S. and Japan LPGA tours each won four matches and were tied after the first round of the Nichirei International.

Australian Karrie Webb, rookie of the year and leading money-winner on U.S. LPGA Tour, and teammate Michelle McGann defeated Aki Nakano and Kaori Higo by two strokes with a 7-under 65 on the Ami Golf Club course.

Three other teams from the U.S. tour beat their counterparts in the best-ball stroke play round.

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