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Funk (69) takes charge

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Difficult pin placements and faster, drier greens flustered the field in the U.S. Senior Open and only five golfers managed to shoot below par, including Fred Funk, whose one-under 69 gave him the lead at the halfway point at Colorado Springs, Colo., on Friday.

Funk’s two-day score of six-under 134 is two shots ahead of Eduardo Romero (69) and four ahead of Mark McNulty (70), Tom Kite (71) and John Cook (72).

Stealing the show, however, was a black bear that ambled out of the mountains in the morning and crossed the 13th fairway before checking out spectators outside the ropes.

"[Jack] Nicklaus isn’t here, so I guess that’s a substitute,” cracked Funk.

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Vijay Singh twice escaped from the trees on his closing holes and shot a four-under 66 at the Bridgestone Invitational in Akron, Ohio, putting his name atop the leaderboard for the first time in more than four months. He is at seven-under 133.

He was one shot ahead of Phil Mickelson, who made another great escape at the end of the second round, this time holing a 20-foot par putt to finish off a 66 that put him in the final group with Singh.

Sean O’Hair, seeing immediate results from switching to a new swing coach, had a 67 and joined the group at five-under 135 that included Lee Westwood (65), former Masters champion Zach Johnson (68) and Peter Lonard (66).

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Michelle Wie failed in her eighth attempt to make the cut on the PGA Tour, shooting a second-round 80 at the Legends Reno-Tahoe Open. Parker McLachlin tied the course record with a 62 to take a four-stroke lead over four players.

McLachlin, who is at 14-under 130, tied the record set by Bill Glasson in 2005 and matched by Joe Ogilvie in 2006.

A quintuple-bogey nine helped push Wie to nine-over 153 at the par-72 Montreux Golf & Country Club.

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