Sluman, Byrd share lead at Chrysler tourney

Sergio Garcia, Carin Koch and Grace Park also owned top spots.
PALM HARBOR, Fla. -- Jeff Sluman and Jonathan Byrd were tied for the lead at the Chrysler Championship, both knowing the tournament really doesn't start until the weekend.
For Paul Azinger, Olin Browne and a host of others, their season ended Friday.
Sluman was eight shots worse than his course-record 62 in the opening round, missing a half-dozen good looks at birdie but still playing solidly from tee to green for a 1-under 70. Byrd blitzed the back nine for the second straight day and shot another 66.
"Some days it's easy, and some days it's a little more difficult," said Sluman, who never had the lead to himself in the second round and wound up tied with Byrd at 10-under 132.
In the final full-field tournament of the year, perhaps it was no surprise that the top five guys already have their cards locked up for next year, with no worries about where they are on the money list.
Vijay Singh, moving closer to a $10 million year, had a 69 and was only two shots behind. Also at 8-under 134 was International winner Rod Pampling (65) and Tommy Armour III (64), exempt through 2005 for his record-setting victory last year in the Texas Open.
Volvo Masters
SOTOGRANDE, Spain -- Sergio Garcia recovered from a poor start and survived a rules scare, closing the second round with two birdies for a 2-under 69 and a one-stroke lead Friday in the Volvo Masters.
Garcia feared he might be disqualified for playing a provisional ball on the 196-yard third hole at Valderrama, not realizing his original tee shot had been found in the trees.
Chief referee John Paramor reviewed what happened for 30 minutes after the round before letting the score stand.
Garcia would have been penalized two shots for playing the wrong ball if he continued to use the provisional, but Paramor said none of the 500 spectators around the green told Garcia his original tee shot had been found, a situation the official called "bizarre in the extreme."
Garcia was relieved.
"I didn't think I had done anything wrong," he said. "I was surprised to see John afterwards."
Garcia's two birdies at the end put him at 6-under 136, one shot clear of Alastair Forsyth (69).
Ian Poulter had a 67 and was another shot back.
CJ Nine Bridges Classic
JEJU, South Korea -- Carin Koch and Grace Park each shot a 6-under 66 and shared the first-round lead at the CJ Nine Bridges Classic.
Jill McGill and Karen Stupples are one shot back after 5-under 67s.
Mexico's Lorena Ochoa was another stroke back after a 68 that included a hole-in-one on the par-3 13th.
Top-ranked Annika Sorenstam finished at 1-under 71.
Copyright 2004 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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