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Price Still on Top of the World

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The conditions changed. The results changed. But the lead remained. Nick Price struggled Friday in the blustery Sotogrande winds, yet held on to a two-shot lead entering the weekend at the WGC-American Express Championship.
 
Free Video - Registration Required Price Comments on 2nd Round
 
Coming off an 11-birdie round of 63, Price managed two birdies on the front nine and two bogeys on the back nine at the Valderrama Golf Club for an even-par 72 in the second round. At 9-under-par, Price leads Hidemichi Tanaka, who shot 6-under 66, by two shots. Price's playing partner for the first two days, Padraig Harrington, is three off the lead after matching the Zimbabwean's day-two 72.
 
'When you shoot a good first round like I did yesterday, you just try and play solidly and not make mistakes. That's what's going to win a tournament like this,' said Price, who admitted to tempering his aggressiveness on Friday.
 
Price, who has 40 worldwide wins to his credit, will certainly hold an experience advantage over Tanaka in Saturday's final grouping. However, Tanaka is not without merit. The Japanese star has won twice on the 2000 JPGA Tour and stands in 58th position on the Official World Golf Ranking.
 
Americans hold positions four through eight through two rounds in Spain. Mark Calcavecchia and Duffy Waldorf share fourth place at 5-under-par; while Tiger Woods, Bob May and Chris Perry are five shots off the lead at 4-under.
 
Woods, who began the day eight shots back of Price, carded three birdies and no bogeys for a 3-under-par 69. Despite the toughened conditions, Friday proved to be a better putting day for the defending champion; however, Woods once again found trouble at the par-5 17th.
 
For the third consecutive round, dating back to Sunday a year ago, Woods dumped his approach shot into the pond guarding the elevated green. This time, Tiger dropped a 9-iron from 160 yards into the drink.
 
Free Video - Registration Required Woods Comments on 2nd Round
 
'I hit such a great shot in there,' said Woods, who showed his disappointment by throwing his club into the ground like a spear. 'The problem was I didn't hit it high enough. The wind actually knocked it down. You could see it just kill it and knock it straight down.
 
'I'm still very pleased. I ground my way around this golf course. Consequently, I was able to shoot a nice number and get myself back in this tournament.'
 
Colin Montgomerie also made a comeback on Friday. The Scot, in search of his eighth straight Order of Merit title, fired a 5-under-par 67. He began his day by birdying the 1st, and then holing a 100-yard approach shot for an eagle at the par-4 2nd. However, the highlight of Monty's day came at the par-3 12th, which he aced with a 4-iron from 197 yards.
 
This is the second hole-in-one in as many weeks for the Scot. Last week in the Volvo Masters, Montgomerie aced the 14th in the second round at Montecastillo.
 
'It landed six inches short and hopped in, exactly the same as last week. Amazing,' said Montgomerie, who stands at 2-under-par for the tournament.
 
Montgomerie trails Darren Clarke on the Order of Merit by nearly $800,000. Clarke has posted scores of 74-70 for an even-par total through two rounds. The Ulsterman is tied for 22nd place entering weekend play. Clarke's nearest pursuant in the money race, Lee Westwood, is also tied for 22nd following back-to-back rounds of 72.