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LEHMAN PUTTS TO LEAD AS NORMAN WITHDRAWS

Tom Lehman, finally displaying a steady putter to match his pinpoint irons, shot 65 Friday to take the second-round lead as Greg Norman withdrew from the MCI Classic because of a painful back.

Lehman started the day with five straight pars, then birdied six of his final 13 holes to complete the two rounds at 10-under 132. He holds a four-stroke lead over John Daly, Payne Stewart, Jesper Parnevik, Bob Tway and first-round co-leader Gene Sauers."I just tried to give the putts a chance to roll up to the hole and drop in," Lehman said. "I learned a lot about putting at the right speed."

Norman pulled out after he felt a shooting sensation through his lower back.

Things started slowly for Lehman, who began a shot back of Sauers and Nolan Henke. Playing the back nine first, Lehman used a pitching wedge from 100 yards out to put the ball three feet from the hole on No. 15 for his first birdie, then birdied both the windswept 17th and 18th holes. He canned an 18-foot birdie putt on No. 3, a 7-footer on No. 7 and closed by sticking a 133-yard 9-iron within three feet for his final birdie.

Stewart and Parnevik both shot 66s. Sauersshot 70, Daly his second 68 and Tway 69.

The group at 137 included Phil Mickelson, John Huston, Jay Delsing, Loren Roberts, Tommy Tolles and Scott Hoch. Nick Faldo, 3-over after one round, recovered with a 64 to stand six shots behind Lehman, along with Henke, Tom Watson, Brian Kamm and Neal Lancaster.

At Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., Jim Colbert got up and down nine times during a bogey-free round and established a one-shot lead Friday at the halfway point of the PGA Seniors Championship.

"I used all my skills today," Colbert said after completing a second consecutive 3-under-par 69 on the Champions course of the PGA Resort. "This is the most rough we've ever played on the Senior Tour," Colbert said after reaching the tournament halfway point at 138, 6 under par.

The masterful scrambling exhibition left him one in front of Isao Aoki of Japan, who also had a 69 and was at 139.

While Ray Floyd is only two off the pace at 140, he complained about lack of scoring. "I'm playing much better than I'm scoring," Floyd said after two rounds of 70. J.C. Snead, DeWitt Weaver and Larry Gilbert were at 141. Gilbert and Snead had 70s Friday and Weaver shot 73.

At Pinehurst, N.C., Caroline Pierce, winless in eight years on the LPGA Tour, shot a 3-under-par 69 in windy conditions for a two-shot lead after Friday's first round of the inaugural Pinewild Women's Championship.

A self-proclaimed good wind player from England, Pierce got in five holes among the tall pines with a morning tee time before gusts of 25-30 mph made conditions extremely difficult on the 6,426-yard Pinewild Country Club layout.

Players were coming off a nearly three-week layoff following the final round of the Nabisco Dinah Shore on March 26. Pierce was the only one in the 144-player field to break 70 and only 12 finished below par. Brandie Burton and Juli Inkster were at 2-under 70 along with Liselotte Neumann and Missie McGeorge.