Johnson, Flanagan share U.S. Bank lead
MILWAUKEE » Richard S. Johnson was disappointed his score wasn't lower while Nick Flanagan was just happy to be playing well on the PGA Tour.
First-round leader Johnson shot 3-under par 67 and Flanagan had a 7-under 63 yesterday to share the second-round lead at 10 under at the U.S. Bank Championship over the 6,579-yard Brown Deer Park Golf Course.
Kent Jones and Gavin Coles were tied for third a shot back of the leaders. Jones shot 65 and Coles, of Australia, had the low round of the tournament at 62, one shy of the course record.
Another stroke back at 132 were Troy Matteson and Ken Duke, who both shot 65.
Despite retaining a share of the lead, Johnson was upset he had two major lipouts on his final two holes to deny him outright possession of first. The hardest to bear was a putt of just under 10 feet on the par-4 ninth hole.
"It was a really nice putt," Johnson said. "It would have been nice to get to 11."
Because Johnson missed the putt, Flanagan caught him with a 12-foot birdie putt on the ninth, which was also his final hole.
Flanagan was delighted to be tied for the lead after struggling in his rookie season. He was promoted to the PGA Tour after winning three times last year on the Nationwide Tour.
"It's really been a bit of a struggle," he said. "I have not been intimidated out here. It's just learning the golf courses. And my swing just hasn't been cooperating with me."
Wie within a stroke of lead
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. » Christina Kim's second-round 68 at the LPGA State Farm Classic looked ordinary compared to her opening 63, but it included a birdie putt on her last hole that gave her a one-stroke lead over the charging Michelle Wie and three others.
Kim was the first-day leader, but said yesterday was, by comparison, a fight.
She bogeyed the par-5 sixth hole and saved par on her opening hole only after finding the green with her second shot from behind a line of trees well off the fairway.
Right behind her is the 18-year-old Wie, playing easily her best golf of the year while shooting a 65 that pulled her to 12 under for the tournament.
The Punahou graduate, who has never won an LPGA tournament, is playing only part-time this year after enrolling at Stanford. She played aggressively and counted on her short game and the forgiveness of the wide-open Panther Creek Country Club course.
"I've had two solid rounds but I'm still a shot behind. I need to go lower over the weekend," she said. "There's a lot of birdie opportunities out there today that I missed. So tomorrow and Sunday I just need to get the rest."
Wie opened her round with an eagle on the par-4 10th hole, dropping her second shot just past the cup and then watching it roll back in before trading high fives with caddie Tim Vickers. A similar shot Thursday landed her an eagle, too.
"I hit a really good shot and it was like wow, it went in again," she said. "This makes my life really easy.
On the par-5 13th hole, Wie drove for the green on her second shot, finding instead deep rough 20 feet to the right and down a hill. A soft pitch to within a few feet of the cup helped her save par.
She landed just off the fairway on 14 and 15, too, only to salvage par on both.
Quigley leads 3M
BLAINE, Minn. » Dana Quigley shot a tournament-record 10-under 62 and leads after the first round of the Champions Tour's 3M Championship.
Gene Jones shot a season-best 64, and is two shots back. Jeff Sluman birdied four of his last five holes to join R.W. Eaks at 7 under.