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Furyk takes charge as Woods stumbles

The Associated Press
Published:   |   Updated: March 18, 2013 at 01:53 PM
ATLANTA -

Jim Furyk, the only American on the Ryder Cup team without a win this year, now has another chance to change that.

Furyk made seven birdies through 10 holes Friday at East Lake — including seven 3s to start the round — until he missed a few greens on the back nine that slowed his momentum. He wound up with a 6-under-par 64, giving him a one-shot lead over Justin Rose going into the weekend at the Tour Championship.

For all the 3s on his card — nine of the first 11 holes — Furyk was irritated about not making one at the par-3 18th. He missed a 5-footer, and slammed his yardage book onto the table in the scoring trailer when he went to sign his card.

Perspective returned a short time later. He was at 7-under 133 on a course where he won just two years ago. And while he is remembered for squandering chances to win at the U.S. Open and Firestone this year, the next opportunity is right in front of him.

Rose, who shared the 18-hole lead with Tiger Woods, made four birdies on the back nine and holed a 6-foot birdie putt on the 18th for a 68.

Woods went the other direction.

He was right in the mix when he made the turn, despite a double bogey on the eighth hole. But a series of bad swings that put him in bad positions led to four bogeys on the back nine and Woods had a 73. It was his worst score at East Lake in 14 years, dating to a 76 in the second round in 1998. He was six strokes behind.

Bo Van Pelt made three bogeys on the last four holes and still had a 68 that put him two shots behind at 135, along with Masters champion Bubba Watson (66). Dustin Johnson, who had to summon his college teammate from Coastal Carolina to caddie for him when his regular had back problems, had a 67 and was another shot back, along with Georgia Tech alum Matt Kuchar (69).

Rory McIlroy, who is leading the FedEx Cup, made an eagle on the 15th that turned around his fortunes. He had a 68 and was only four shots behind.

LPGA: Defending champion Lexi Thompson shot a 3-under 69 to take a one-stroke lead into the weekend at the Navistar LPGA Classic in Prattville, Ala.

The 17-year-old had a 12-under 132 total on the links-style Senator course at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail's Capitol Hill complex. She matched the tournament record Thursday with a career-best 63.

Last year, Thompson became the youngest champion in LPGA Tour history at age 16, winning by five strokes. Fifteen-year-old amateur Lydia Ko broke the record last month in the Canadian Women's Open.

Mindy Kim and Mi Jung Hur were a stroke back. They played in the same group and each shot 65.

Top-ranked Yani Tseng was 3 under after a 70. Michelle Wie missed the cut by a stroke, shooting a 73 to finish at even par.

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