Toms is leader as rain halts play again



Stewart Cink was three shots ahead of Toms, but has seven holes to play.
AKRON (AP) -- David Toms finished his first round Friday morning with a double bogey.
By the end of another day cut short by rain at the NEC Invitational, it wasn't the worst thing that could have happened.
Dropping two shots gave him an earlier start for the second round, and Toms finished his 4-under 66 just ahead of a downpour that made Firestone South unplayable and left Toms as the clubhouse leader.
He was at 5-under 135, although still three shots behind Stewart Cink.
Finished 63 in first round
Cink played eight holes in the morning to polish off a 7-under 63. He was at 8 under and facing a 25-foot birdie putt downstream on the 11th hole when play was suspended.
"I guess that double put me in a position to be able to finish," Toms said. "Other than my last hole this morning, I got on a roll and played solid golf all day. I just did get finished, and it got pretty nasty out there on the last hole."
The PGA Tour decided to wait until the first round was completed before issuing new tee times, and only 24 players finished the second round. It shouldn't matter by the end of the week. The forecast was for dry, cool weather the final two days.
Rory Sabbatini (through 13 holes), Rod Pampling (12 holes) and Chris DiMarco (12 holes) also were at 5 under, while Zach Johnson was another stroke back through 10 holes.
Woods to stay No. 1
Tiger Woods looks like he'll hang onto his No. 1 ranking for at least another week -- not because he's playing great, but the guys who have a chance to catch him are showing signs of a letdown following a tough week in contention at Whistling Straits.
PGA champion Vijay Singh, who only needed to finish higher than Woods at Firestone to become No. 1 for the first time in his career, twice lipped out 3-foot par putts and was 5 over for the tournament with three holes left.
Ernie Els, who finished one shot out of the PGA playoff, made two double bogeys on the back nine to finish off his first-round 72, and already was 6 over par for the second round through 15 holes.
Mickelson shoots 75
Masters champion Phil Mickelson tied for sixth last week to cap off a marvelous year in the majors, and he usually plays well at Firestone. But he had a 75 on Friday and was at 5-over 145.
"I've been in that position before where you have a mentally grueling week where you're in contention on a hard course, and the next week you almost have a blowout and find it hard to concentrate," Cink said. "I'm sure that's what those guys are having right now, because they're a lot better than 5 over and 8 over par."
Cink has been solid for more than a month, doing well enough to get Hal Sutton's attention and become one of two captain's picks for the U.S. Ryder Cup team.
The first two days have been a continuation, although Cink was happy with the delay.
He started to lose a few drives into the trees and the rough, and was hanging on an even par when he chipped in for birdie on the 10th hole, the last one he completed before puddles started forming on the greens, and streams cut across the low areas on the fairways.
"This delay might actually do me some good," Cink said. "I had hit a few shots less than perfect, so maybe tomorrow morning I'll get out and recapture the magic."
Tiger still struggling
Woods, a three-time winner at Firestone, hasn't been able to get much of anything going. He compounded his bogey-bogey end to Thursday evening by ending his first round Friday morning with another bogey for a 68, his highest opening round in seven appearance at Firestone.
Back-to-back birdies got him headed in the right direction, but one tee shot -- some 30 yards right of the fairway on No. 4 -- put him into a funk and he missed the few birdie chances he had until his day ended on the 13th hole.
"Thank God we get to go home and get some rest," Woods said. "This golf course is not going to get any easier. Guys are having a hard time making birdies out here, so we'll just try to stay patient."

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