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The 6-foot birdie putt slid past the cup, a rare miss these days by Tom Lehman. He still was only one shot out of the lead Friday in the Funai Classic at Disney, which is no longer a rarity.

Winless for almost five years, Lehman put himself in weekend contention for the third straight week with a 6-under 66 on the Magnolia course, putting him in today (4 p.m., ESPN) a stroke behind Briny Baird.

"It's nice to get in the hunt and have a chance to either blow it or do something great," Lehman said. "I feel like I haven't blown it the last two times, but I haven't done anything great."

He gets another chance at Disney, where players will keep firing at flags until someone gets to hoist the bronze trophy of Mickey Mouse & friends.

Baird isn't having quite the season he did in 2003 when he qualified for the Tour Championship for the first time, but that could change over the next two days. He shot a 66 on the Palm course and was at 13-under 131.

"The mind-set going into the weekend won't change," Baird said. "I probably need to make another 12 to 15 birdies on the weekend to have any chance at winning the golf tournament."

Cameron Beckman, on the bubble at No. 123 on the money list, had 65 on the Palm and was in the group at 133 that included Hank Kuehne (64), Kirk Triplett (67) and Skip Kendall (67).

About the only one who didn't take it low on a breezy, warm afternoon was the No. 1 player in the world.

Vijay Singh didn't give himself enough good looks at birdie and had to settle for a 71. That left him at 137 and in a tie for 28th as he tries to win his fourth straight PGA Tour event.


Tom Kite grinded out a 2-under 70 in the second round to maintain his one-stroke lead over Morris Hatalsky, Dana Quigley and Hale Irwin in the Charles Schwab Cup Championship at Sonoma, Calif. David Eger and 2003 champion Jim Thorpe matched Hatalsky for the day's best round. Thorpe, a former Buffalonian, is at 143, nine behind Kite.

LPGA Tour rookie Isabelle Beisiegel shot her best round of the week Friday, but it wasn't enough to end her attempt to become the first woman to qualify for the men's PGA Tour. Beisiegel, 25, shot a 7-over 79 at the Norman Course at PGA West in La Quinta, Calif. Her 72-hole total of 35-over 323 was last among 78 golfers.

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