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Suzann Pettersen leads by two; Tiger Woods trails by three

Suzann Pettersen took a two-stroke lead in the Women's British Open golf championship after the second day.

Suzann Pettersen took a two-stroke lead in the Women’s British Open golf championship after the second day.

(Scott Heppell / Associated Press)

Norway’s Suzann Pettersen took a two-stroke lead into the weekend at the Women’s British Open after being one of just two players to break 70 in a soggy second round at Turnberry that left many in the 144-woman field scurrying for shelter and bemoaning the un-summerlike Scottish conditions.

Out at 6.41 a.m. Friday in the second group, Pettersen shot a three-under-par 69 for a score that looked better and better as a grueling day on the wind-beaten Ailsa links wore on. Maria McBride of Sweden was the only player to beat Pettersen’s score with a bogey-free 66, but she was still way off the pace after an opening-round 79.

“I was in 100% control of the ball, the flight, the spin, everything you need to do in conditions like this,” said the sixth-ranked Pettersen, who called it one of the best rounds of her career. “It felt like I was pulling off every shot I was standing over.”

Pettersen’s seven-under 137 put her two shots clear of a quartet tied for second that included Lydia Ko, who shot a 73 in some of the worst conditions in the afternoon, when the winds swirled and gusted up to 25 mph.

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“I was eating my sandwich — my bread was getting wet in the rain,” said the 18-year-old Ko, who wore four layers of clothes, hand warmers and earmuffs at times during her round.

And Pettersen’s 69?

“Pretty amazing,” Ko said.

Teresa Lu (71) of Taiwan and South Koreans So Yeon Ryu (72) and Jin-Young Ko (70) were also at five under with Ko, who is trying to become the youngest winner of a major.

Top-ranked Inbee Park, seeking to complete the career sweep of the majors, shot a 73 to sit five strokes off Pettersen. Michelle Wie withdrew after aggravating a left ankle injury when she slipped to the ground as she walked off the 13th tee.

Woods moves up

Tournament host Tiger Woods shot a five-under 66 in the Quicken Loans National, putting him in contention for his first victory in nearly two years.

“If I keep hitting good putts, eventually they’re going to go in,” Woods said. “I made my share on my back nine and especially that bomb on eight [a 36-foot birdie putt]. That was a bit lucky, but I’ll take it.”

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Woods was tied for fifth, three shots behind Ryo Ishikawa, who was even par for the day before he birdied the last three holes at Robert Trent Jones Golf Club at Gainesville, Va. Ishikawa was at 11-under 131, one shot ahead of Rickie Fowler, who also birdied the last three for a 65, and Kevin Chappell, who shot 68.

Woods’ 66 was his best score in relation to par this year and only his seventh round in the 60s. In eight previous starts this year, he missed three cuts and withdrew once. His best finish is a tie for 17th at the Masters.

Champions

Local favorite Tom Lehman shot an eight-under 64 to take a three-stroke lead in the Champions Tour’s 3M Championship at Blaine, Minn.

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The 56-year-old Lehman is from Alexandria and played at the University of Minnesota. He won the last of his eight Champions Tour titles last year in the Encompass Championship.

Scott Dunlap had seven straight birdies in his 67. Grant Waite and P.H. Horgan III also shot 67.

Europe

The inaugural Paul Lawrie Match Play lost its top-seeded player and the tournament host in the second round at Aberdeen, Scotland. No. 1-seeded James Morrison was beaten, 2 and 1, by Johan Carlsson, who will play fellow Swede Robert Karlsson in the round of 16. Paul Lawrie, the 1999 British Open champion, will spend the rest of the event in the sponsor’s pavilion after losing 1-up to Scottish compatriot Chris Doak. ... Sam Walker of England and Pontus Widegren of Sweden both shot a six-under 66 to sit tied for the lead after the second round of the Madeira Islands Open.

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