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Archive for Friday, February 20, 2004

Micheel shares Nissan lead

Maruyama tied at top; Woods eight back

February 20, 2004

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— PGA champion Shaun Micheel doesn't feel like a star, not with Tiger Woods and Vijay Singh in the Nissan Open, and certainly not in star-crazed Los Angeles.

As long as he plays like one, that's fine with him.

Micheel put some putting practice to good use Thursday, holing a 30-foot eagle putt and a couple of other long birdies for a 7-under 64 at Riviera and a share of the first-round lead with Shigeki Maruyama.

"I don't know what it takes to be a star," Micheel said. "I don't know if I have that quality. I would like to become top 10 in the world at some point, be a more consistent player."

Micheel and Maruyama, who played in the same group, had a one-shot lead over Hank Kuehne, while the group at 66 included defending champion Mike Weir and former Nissan Open winners Fred Couples (1990, 1992), Kirk Triplett (2000) and Robert Allenby (2001).

Among 10 players who failed to finish before darkness, Russ Cochran was 4 under with two holes remaining.

Woods, meantime, continued to struggle at Riviera.

This is the only course on the PGA Tour he has played at least five times without winning, and Woods put himself in a hole with a 1-over 72, the first time he has been over par in the first round of a regular PGA Tour event since last year at Riviera.

Woods will start the second round below the cut line, needing a good score to extend his record streak of 116 consecutive cuts on the PGA Tour.

Singh didn't fare much better. Despite hitting 15 greens, he took 33 putts in a round of even-par 71.

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