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MEDIATE MASTERING WET STUFF

Rocco Mediate knew where he was going Friday, although that was no guarantee he would wind up in the lead at the Pennsylvania Classic.

Mediate hit his drive exactly where he was aiming on the 10th hole, a dogleg to the right where the best shot appears to be down the left side of the fairway. He chuckled when he heard some fans murmur behind him.

"It looks likes it's going in the next county," Mediate said. "And I'm looking around going, 'No, it's in the middle of the fairway.' There are a lot of holes like that."

Mediate knows them all.

He grew up about 20 miles down the road. He's been a member of Laurel Valley Golf Club the past six years. He couldn't count the number of times he has played the course, nor could he estimate how many relatives and friends he had in the gallery.

They had plenty to cheer on a mostly sunny afternoon in western Pennsylvania. Mediate was the clubhouse leader after a 4-under 68 put him at 137 going into today's action (4 p.m., ESPN).

He was tied with Steve Flesch, who was 7 under through 10 holes when play was suspended by darkness.

"I was a bit nervous yesterday, teeing off, being at home in front of everybody," Mediate said. "I can tell the people are pulling for me."

Nick Price, who led after the first round with a 66, remained at 6 under through seven holes. Steve Elkington also was 6 under through 10 holes.

Play has been behind since a four-hole rain delay Thursday, compounded by a one-hour delay Friday morning because of fog. The second round will be completed today, and tournament officials hope to get on track by Sunday.

Half of the field will have to return, some forced to play as many as 32 holes.

Fans had more to cheer than just Mediate. That other local product -- Arnold Palmer -- played on as a non-competing marker even after withdrawing from the tournament.

Had Palmer counted his last two holes, his score would have been a 90. He never turned in a card and therefore withdrew. But he played on for a large gallery.

"I was ready to pack it in," Palmer said. "I know a lot of the people came out to see me play, and that's the reason I played."

Around the links

Emilee Klein finished off a long day with a 4-under 68 to take a one-stroke lead over Sherri Steinhauer and Meg Mallon halfway through the second round of the rain-shortened Asahi Ryokuken International in North Augusta, S.C. Steinhauer shot a 66, her lowest round since March. Rosie Jones had a 68 for a 5-under total, matching first-round leaders Marianne Morris, Vickie Odegard and Laura Diaz -- who did not play Friday. Klein had two holes left in Thursday's first round, suspended when a thunderstorm swept over Mount Vintage Plantation. After waiting 2 1/2 hours through Friday morning, Klein, Steinhauer and 69 others took to the course. By the time the round was completed, officials had sliced off 18 holes, decreeing that those who had finished Thursday would take Friday off and return for a second round today. Those ending Friday would continue for 18 more holes and then skip today.

Larry Nelson shot a 7-under 65 to take a one-stroke lead in the SAS Championship, the new Senior PGA Tour event in Cary, N.C. Monday qualifier Jay Overton, Doug Tewell and Isao Aoki opened with 66s on the Prestonwood Country Club course, and leading money winner Bruce Fleisher had a 67. Former Buffalonian Jim Thorpe, seeking his third straight victory, shot a 73.

England's Mark Roe shot his second straight 5-under 66 to take a one-stroke lead after the second round of the Lancome Trophy in France. Spain's Sergio Garcia and England's Anthony Wall were tied for second after 65s. Retief Goosen, the U.S. Open winner and defending champion, shot a 71 to drop two strokes back.

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