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Sheehan on Top as Play Called

2005 The INTERNATIONALCASTLE ROCK, Colo. -- The best part of Patrick Sheehan's day was playing with Ian Leggatt and Chris Riley through the tall pines, thin air and steep hills of the Rocky Mountains -- before the rains came.
'When you got two guys that you really like ... it was a good group for me because everybody talks to each other and you're telling jokes,' Sheehan said. 'We all played pretty well (Thursday) and it just continued today. Everybody's in a good mood. A guy makes a couple birdies and you just follow him up.'
Sheehan piggybacked on Leggatt's incredible second round to take the lead at the halfway mark of the International golf tournament at Castle Pines Golf Club, the PGA Tour's most novel event.
Seventy-two of the 140 golfers will have to finish the second round on Saturday. A heavy thunderstorm caused a delay of about 3 1/2 hours, and play was halted shortly before 8 p.m.
Sheehan's five birdies offset his two bogeys and gave him eight points for the day and 18 for the tournament, the only stop on the PGA Tour that uses the modified Stableford scoring system, which awards two points for a birdie, five for an eagle and eight for a double eagle. One point is deducted for a bogey, three for a double bogey or worse.
Leggatt was just one back after firing a 13 on Friday. He recovered from a double-bogey on his first hole to sink three birdies and two eagles. Riley posted his second straight 6-point round.
Sergio Garcia scored 10 points to bring his total to 16; and Stewart Cink and Tom Pernice Jr. were tied for fourth with 15 points through holes 12 and 10, respectively.
Jeff Gove, who completed just eight holes, was among three other golfers four points back of Sheehan.
The International has been interrupted by inclement weather in each of its 21 times it's been held. That is one reason founder Jack Vickers so eagerly accepted the PGA's offer to move the tournament to the Fourth of July weekend next year -- that and his fervent hope that Tiger Woods will play here for the first time since 1999.
The lucky ones were those who teed off in the morning, although tricky winds did kick up midmorning.
'It was very windy and gusty and difficult out there. Any time you're hitting a sand wedge from 181 yards on a par-3, you know that something's not right,' said Garcia, who would normally use an 8- or 9-iron there.
Playing at altitude and using the special scoring system on the 7,619-yard Castle Pines layout, two factors that reward big hitters and aggressiveness, Leggatt recovered nicely after losing the maximum three points on his first hole, which he didn't even finish.
'It was definitely a bad start,' Leggatt said, 'but the way this tournament goes, you just never know what could happen out there.'
With this unpredictable scoring system combined with freshly soaked greens, anybody could change things dramatically Saturday in the span of one swing, and that's what gives hope to Phil Mickelson, who was right on the cut line with 5 points Friday.
The field will be trimmed to the top 70 golfers plus ties for the third round, after which the top 36 scorers plus ties will compete for the $990,000 winner's check on Sunday.
Mickelson's putter failed him for the second straight day at Castle Pines, nearly freeing up his weekend to prepare for the PGA Championship instead of chasing his third title at the International. Still, he wasn't worried about his overall game with the final major of the year looming next week.
'I think it's more just the putting,' Mickelson said. 'I've just really struggled on the greens here. Otherwise, I've been pretty pleased with the way I'm hitting it.'
Mickelson's off-kilter putting produced plenty of groans from the biggest gallery out here.
'I just have trouble seeing the lines,' Mickelson said. 'But again, if I can just make the cut, I'd love to have two more rounds here.'
He'll have to wait until Saturday to find out if he'll get to go back out on Castle Pines or pack up for Medinah.
Kevin Sutherland holed out from 100 yards from the fairway for an eagle on No. 8. ... Sixth-tenths of an inch of rain was measured. ... Those who didn't finish the second round will resume at 7:30 a.m. Saturday.
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