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Toms Tames Wind to Share Mercedes Lead

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Thursday, Mike Weir teed off in the first group; Friday, he teed off in the last. Thursday, he shot 63; Friday, he shot 74.
 
But it wasnt the change in tee time that negatively affected the left-handed Canadian. No, it had more to do with the elements. Thursday, the winds were docile; Friday, they blew in upwards of 30 mph.
 
Not everyone struggled in Round 2, however, as David Toms shot 7-under-par 66 to tie Kenny Perry (67) for the lead entering the weekend at The Plantation Course in Kapalua, Hawaii.
 
It was a great day overall as Toms not only turned 35 years old, but also got the news that University of Florida football coach Steve Spurrier resigned.
 
'That's the best news I've heard in a long, long time,' said the former LSU Tiger All-American.
 
Toms and Perry stand at 11-under 135, one shot clear of Scott Verplank (69). Weir is alone in fourth place at 9-under.
 
Mark Calcavecchia posted nine 3s on his card while shooting 66. He's tied for fifth place at 8-under with 1999 champion David Duval (71).
 
Toms, the reigning PGA champion, started the day six shots off the lead, but recorded three birdies over his first six holes to move quickly up the leaderboard. He made the turn with an eagle-3 at the ninth, before cruising home with a pair of birdies on the backside.
 
I had a good day out there, said Toms, who won three times in 2001 to qualify for the winners-only event. That (No. 9) was a big hole. I played real well the first eight holes, then the eagle at nine got me going.
 
Any time you shoot 7-under-par in conditions like this, its a good round.
 
This is Toms third-straight trip to Kapalua. Perry last qualified for the tournament in 1996, though, it was contested at La Costa in California.
 
And while the winds were down in the first round, they were blowing strong Friday. In fact, the elements were similar to those in which Perry shot 79 in Wednesdays pro-am.
 
Nonetheless, the 41-year-old Kentuckian recorded eight birdies to offset two bogeys
 
Fortunately, I got more comfortable, said Perry, who won the Buick Open. Ive never considered myself a great wind player, but Im getting better ' guess the older I get, the more patient I am.
 
Tiger Woods patience was tested early Friday, when an errant tee shot led to a penalty drop and a triple-bogey 7. The 1997 and 2000 Mercedes champion took 35 putts en route to a 1-over 74. It was his worst score since shooting a 4-over 74 in the first round of the 2001 U.S. Open. Woods resides in a tie for 18th place, seven shots off the pace at minus-4.
 
Weir led by three shots starting Day 2, but bogeyed three of his first seven holes and fought mightily to drop only one stroke to par.
 
News and Notes from Round Two
 
Full-field scores from the Mercedes Championships