Leonard records a 63, tied for Disney lead

Posted Oct. 21, 2011, at 8:22 p.m.
Last modified Oct. 21, 2011, at 8:52 p.m.

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Justin Leonard described his round Friday at Disney as a “fun, easy day,” and it was every bit of that. He had a 9-under 63 for his lowest round of the year, putting him in a tie for the lead with Henrik Stenson and Bio Kim at the Children’s Miracle Network Classic.

It was only after his round that he felt as though he was on Thunder Mountain without ever leaving the golf course. Leonard is at No. 144 on the PGA Tour money list and not the least bit worried about keeping his card because he already is exempt through 2012. Because of a misprint in the media guide, reporters didn’t understand how he was exempt, leading to confusion — and a brief spell of panic for Leonard — while tour officials researched the regulations to confirm the answer.

By the time he headed for the Magic Kingdom for the parade with his four children, all was well. Leonard, Stenson (64) and Kim (65) were at 12-under 132, two shots clear of Nick O’Hern (66).

The money list is magic at Disney.

Webb Simpson and Luke Donald are battling for the money title, and they both played the opening two rounds at 7-under 137, meaning they will be paired again Saturday. Simpson has a $363,029 lead, so the third round looms large for Donald. The top-ranked Donald can finish no worse than a two-way tie for second, provided Simpson finishes down the leaderboard. It’s a tall order for Donald, the No. 1 player in the world.

Castello Masters

CASTELLON, Spain — Sergio Garcia shot an 8-under 63 on his home course to take a two-shot lead after the second round of the European Tour’s Castello Masters.

The Club de Campo del Meditarraneo club champion at the age of 12, Garcia eagled the par-5 eighth hole and had seven birdies to reach 12 under. Sweden’s Alexander Noren was second after a 63.

LPGA Taiwan Championship

YANG MEI, Taiwan — Azahara Munoz of Spain shot a 6-under 66 Friday to share the lead with Anna Nordqvist of Sweden after the second round of the inaugural LPGA Taiwan Championship.

Nordqvist had a 68 to finish tied with Munoz on 7-under 137, two shots ahead of top-ranked Yani Tseng (71) and fellow Taiwanese Candie Kung (68).

Munoz eagled the sixth hole and added four birdies in a bogey-free round. Nordqvist mixed five birdies with one bogey.

“I was hitting the ball really well. I missed a few greens but I was still putting,” Munoz said. “I putted 18 times today, so I gave myself a lot of chances. I made a nice eagle on six, so that helped, too.”

The 22-year-old Tseng shared the overnight lead but only managed a 71 Friday at the Sunrise Golf and Country Club. Tseng has been cheered on by large and exuberant crowd in her home country, although a few fans apparently haven’t read up on golf etiquette.

“It’s the first time in my life that I’ve seen so many people all over the golf course,” Tseng said. “Between the fifth and sixth hole, I was about to the hit the ball, and someone took a photo. The timing is actually wrong, you can take photos before or after we hit a ball. But we hope they can do everything to avoid that while we’re hitting.”

Katie Futcher (70) of the United States was among three players who are five shots behind the leaders. Cristie Kerr (73) and Se Ri Pak (69) were another stroke back.

Kung put herself in contention with a round of five birdies and a bogey. She hopes to one day overtake the more famous Tseng, who won Player of the Year honors for the second straight year.

“It’s golf, so anything can happen,” the 91st-ranked Kung said. “I’m more like a big sister for her and very happy for her. To make this tournament possible, she played a big part.”

It’s the first time the LPGA has held a tournament in Taiwan.

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