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September 13, 2009

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Woods joins Wilson for halfway lead

TIGER Woods recovered from a bogey at the first hole to join his fellow American Mark Wilson in the lead at the halfway stage of the BMW Championship in Lemont, Illinois, on Friday.

Woods fired a 67 while Wilson carded a 66 to end the day tied at seven-under 135, one stroke ahead of Irishman Padraig Harrington (68), South African Rory Sabbatini (70), Australian Marc Leishman (69) and American Bo Van Pelt (69). "I hit a terrible tee shot there at one, a quick hook with a three-wood," Woods told reporters.

"I had a few opportunities to make bogeys but I had some good saves. Overall, I kept very patient."

Woods and Wilson have been rivals for nearly two decades, first meeting in a United States Junior Championship.

"Mark and I go back to when I was 16," Woods recalled. "I think I was two-down with four (holes) to go and I think I won every hole coming in.

"But it was a good match. Mark went to North Carolina (University) after that and we played against each other in college, and we have been out here (on tour) for a while."

Wilson may have lost that day but he does have some home-course advantage over Woods at Cog Hill, regularly playing the course when he is at home.

Wilson, who won the Mayakoba Classic in Mexico in March, didn't make a great start on Friday, but gained some confidence by sinking a 10-foot par-saving putt at his first hole.

"That kind of settled my nerves," he said. "Then I just rolled in birdie putts when I had them and made a couple of saves. The greens have been rolling good for me.

"I've been able to read them good and see the lines."

Sabbatini, who shared the first-round lead, went three clear at the turn, but slipped back with two late bogeys that he blamed on spike marks.

"There were a few people out there who didn't lift their feet," he said.


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