New Zealand Takes Lead Americans Tied for Fourth


Michael Campbell and David Smail teamed up to shoot a 6-under 66 that lifted New Zealand into the lead at 15-under-par 129 after Friday's alternate-shot second round of the WGC-EMC World Cup.
The Japanese tandem of Toshi Izawa and Shigeki Maruyama delighted the home fans at the Taiheiyo Club's Gotemba Course by grabbing a share of second place with Scotland at 11-under. The hosts combined for a 69, while Andrew Coltart and Dean Robertson, who fired a better-ball 62 Thursday to put Scotland atop the leaderboard with Canada and Sweden, posted a 71.
Defending champions Tiger Woods and David Duval of the United States, tied for 11th at the start of the day, produced a 68 and moved into a tie for fourth at 10-under par with Thomas Bjorn and Soren Hansen of Denmark (69), and Sergio Garcia and Miguel Angel Jimenez of Spain (71).
The Canadians and the Swedes matched 73s to drop back into seventh place in the 24-country field with Argentina (68), France (68), Fiji (69) and South Africa (71).
Campbell, the 30th-ranked player in the world with four career wins on the European Tour, has tallied 15 birdies over the two days with Smail. Smail, the world's 136th-ranked golfer, competes on the Australasian Tour and has experience playing the 7,232-yard Gotemba layout.
'It's definitely an advantage,' Smail - the winner of last year's Canon Challenge - said. 'I know the grass types here and what it's like to play in Japan this time of year. I've played this course three or four times in the past and am quite familiar with it.'
Woods and Duval, the most formidable pairing rankings-wise at Nos. 1 and 3, respectively, struggled a bit in Thursday's best-ball format, taking a penalty when Duval rolled a practice putt on the 16th green after Woods had holed out.
The U.S. representatives got their act together on the back nine Friday, birdieing three of the first four holes after the turn.
After Duval knocked his approach to 10 feet at the par-4 10th, Woods sank the putt to convert the birdie. At the par-5 11th, Duval hit his team's third shot to six feet and Woods managed to connect again.
Although he missed a five-footer for birdie at the 12th, Woods came through at par-3 13th after Duval's tee shot set up another six-foot birdie try.
Duval missed the green at the par-3 17th and Woods made the situation worse when he chipped short of the hole. They needed two more putts to get down for bogey but fashioned a birdie at the closing hole to negate the dropped shot.
'It could have been a really low number today, but that's just the way it goes,' said Woods, who is looking to be part of a third straight victory for the U.S. at the World Cup.
'This format is awfully difficult to get into a rhythm, and we found it a little bit in the middle of the round. But we just made our share of mistakes a little bit, too.'
Before successfully joining forces with Duval in Argentina last year, Woods teamed up with Mark O'Meara to win the event in Malaysia in 1999.
The U.S. has won 23 of the 46 World Cups held since the event's inception in 1953.
The World Cup is the final World Golf Championships event scheduled for 2001. Steve Stricker captured the WGC-Match Play Championship in Australia back in January, and Woods won his third straight WGC-NEC Invitational at Firestone in August after an epic seven-hole playoff with Jim Furyk.
The third tournament in the series, the WGC-American Express Championship, was scheduled for September 13-16 but was cancelled in the wake of the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington on September 11.
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