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August 2, 2009

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Tiger roars into contention at Buick

AUSTRALIA'S John Senden shot a six-under 66 to grab the Buick Open second-round lead on Friday while Tiger Woods roared into contention behind his lowest round of the year.

Even as Senden was putting the finishing touches on a bogey-free day to carve out a two-shot lead over American Michael Letzig the crowd was still buzzing about Woods' rise up the leaderboard.

Woods, who shot 71 on Thursday, arrived at Warwick Hills in Grand Blanc, Michigan, on Friday in danger of an unwanted career milestone - missing the cut at consecutive events for the first time as a professional.

But a fired-up world No. 1 returned a nine-under 63 that was sparked by a sizzling birdie, birdie, eagle, birdie, birdie start to get to six-under after just five holes.

Playing his first event since the British Open where he failed to make the cut in a major championship for only the second time as a professional, Woods started the day tied for 95th and finished it in a six-way tie for fifth at 10-under 134 just four behind Senden on 130.

Letzig moved into contention for his first PGA Tour title with a seven-under 65 while Vaughn Taylor (68) and Bill Lunde lurk one shot further back at 11-under 133.

"It's a process I can't get it all back in one round, I positioned myself so far back yesterday it wasn't going to happen," said Woods, a twice Buick champion. "But if I birdied the holes you're suppose to birdie and a couple of others here and there you're going to come up with a round in the mid-60s and I thought that would get me in touch with the leaders."

At Lytham St Annes, England, Britain's Catriona Matthew had back-to-back eagles in her second-round 67 to share the lead with Italy's Giulia Sergas at the halfway stage of the Women's British Open on Friday.

Sergas, still seeking a first victory in 10 years as a professional, matched Matthew's score and they were tied on three-under 141 in the final major of the women's season, one shot ahead of Japan's Yuko Mitsuka.

Matthew, 39, who gave birth to her second daughter in May, put together a spectacular back nine, sinking a six-foot putt for an eagle three at the long 11th and then hitting a hole-in-one with an eight iron at the par-three 12th.

American Michelle Wie ran up a double bogey six at the 18th for a 76 to stand at five-over, eight shots off the lead while world No. 1 Lorena Ochoa had a 77 and made the cut with a shot to spare at eight-over.


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