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Host Woods grabs Congressional lead

TIGER Woods played the role of inhospitable host by soaring to the top of the leaderboard after the second round of the AT&T National in Maryland on Friday.

The world No. 1, who is hosting the US$6 million event at Congressional Country Club, fired a 4-under par 66 to finish on 10-under 130, one stroke ahead of Australian Rod Pampling (64).

"I didn't drive the ball as well as I did yesterday or hit my irons as crisp," said Woods, who returned a 64 in Thursday's opening round.

"Either I hit it pretty close to the hole, within 10 feet, or I was missing greens," he told reporters. "It was nice to actually get a score out of it. I didn't shoot myself in the foot."

First-round leader and holder Anthony Kim followed his course-record 62 on Thursday with a topsy-turvy 70 to slide back into third place, two strokes off the pace.

"I hated the way I hit the ball today," the American said after carding three birdies and three bogeys.

"It was OK for about six or seven holes but the swing got loose and I couldn't find it out there."

The 39-year-old Pampling, a double winner on the PGA Tour who finished third here a year ago, charged into contention with seven birdies and a lone bogey under partly cloudy skies and unseasonably cool weather in suburban Washington.

"The greens were really nice out there so, once you got a line on your putt, they were pretty much guaranteed going in as long as you hit it there," said Pampling.

"I just didn't do anything wrong and kept myself out of trouble and made some good putts."

Woods, who has triumphed 31 times out of 37 on the PGA Tour when holding at least a share of the lead after 36 holes, was not satisfied with his performance.

"I need to hit the ball better than I did today, just clean up my round," said the 14 times major champion who had five birdies and a sole bogey at the par-four 11th.

"If I can get hitting the ball like I did yesterday and putt like I did today, we'll be looking all right."

US Open champion Lucas Glover carded a 66 to stand five strokes off the pace while triple major winner Vijay Singh shot a 2-under par 68 to trail by eight.

Glover, who said he was "trying to scratch my way into contention", birdied five of his first nine holes before cooling off after the turn. He covered his back nine in one over to end the day in a tie for eighth.

The cut fell at 2-over 142, with British world No. 3 Paul Casey and 2007 winner K.J. Choi of South Korea among those missing out.


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