Westwood on the money

KEN FIDLIN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:50 AM ET

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- When the horn sounded just past 10:30 yesterday morning, yet again summoning the players off the Stadium Course because of lightning concerns, there were a lot of rolled eyebrows and "not again" expressions. It has become a way of life on the PGA Tour this year.

But Englishman Lee Westwood was delighted. His mind was already elsewhere, even though his game was right on the money. By day's end he would share the lead at The Players Championship with Joe Durant and first-round leader Steve Jones at 10-under-par. Jones is only halfway through his second round.

"I was probably the only person pleased to come in off the golf course at half-past 10 because I got to listen to my horse race," said Westwood.

Westwood is part-owner of a thoroughbred named Right Approach, which was running in the Dubai World Cup, the world's richest race.

"The weather fit in just right for my horse racing," said Westwood, who had been sneaking a few updates in advance, using a cellphone surreptitiously on the golf course.

As it turned out, Right Approach finished third, earning a cool $150,000 US.

"Well, we thought the horse was going to win the race, but it paid for its hay," he said. "Race horses are like golfers; you're never sure how they are going to come out of the stalls."

Westwood fits on that score. He hasn't done much all season on this side of the pond but he has been dialed in at Ponte Vedra Beach under trying weather circumstances. He opened with a 65 Thursday and fashioned a 69 yesterday.

Seventy-one players in the field did not finish their second round yesterday because of stormy weather that stopped play for three hours late in the morning.

Zach Johnson, who did finish his round, and Luke Donald, who did not, are one stroke behind the leaders.

Fred Funk and defending champ Adam Scott are two more strokes back at seven-under along with Padraig Harrington, Vaughn Taylor and Graeme McDowell.

Of the prominent players expected to be near the top, Retief Goosen is at five-under, Phil Mickelson at four-under, Vijay Singh at three-under (after a disastrous quadruple bogey eight at the 18th), Tiger Woods is at three-under and Ernie Els at two-under.

Canadian Stephen Ames was at four-under, 11 holes into his second round, while Mike Weir finished 36 holes at two-under after a second-round 68.

The plan is to complete the second round this morning, cut the field to 70 players and then immediately start the third round. That plan is in peril because more thunder and lightning is expected to last all day.

Tournament officials have said they will keep the field here until Tuesday if necessary to complete 72 holes.


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