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GOLF ROUNDUP : Stadler Scrambles to Shoot 68 for Tour Championship Lead

From Associated Press

Craig Stadler used a delicate touch around the greens to take control of the richest event on the American golf tour.

“I got away with a few today,” Stadler said Friday after a second consecutive three-under-par 68 gave him a one-stroke lead at the halfway point of the $2-million Tour Championship at Pinehurst, N.C.

“I didn’t play very well today; I really didn’t,” he added after his second nerve-racking test on the No. 2 course. “But there were a lot of very good chips and a lot of good putts. A lot of good up-and-downs, a lot of saving par.”

Stadler completed 36 holes in 136, six under par, for a one-shot lead over Paul Azinger, Russ Cochran and Nick Price. Price had the best round Friday with a 67. Azinger and Cochran each shot 69.

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While Stadler was scrambling, others fell victim to the subtle demands of the layout built by Donald Ross more than 80 years ago.

John Daly, Ian Baker-Finch and Payne Stewart--the holders of three of golf’s four major titles--each had second-round 76s.

Seve Ballesteros and Jose Rivero of Spain shot a combined 138 for a three-stroke lead after two rounds of the $1.1-million World Cup Golf tournament at Rome. They finished 36 holes over Rome’s Golf Club Le Querce at nine-under-par 279, three strokes ahead of defending champions Bernhard Langer and Torsten Giedeon of Germany.

Ballesteros shot a 69 and is at seven-under-par 137 in the individual standings, one stroke ahead of Langer.

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