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Furyk lead character in this short fluff story

Caddie Mike ''Fluff" Cowan picked the club and fixed the ballmark. Jim Furyk took care of the rest.

The 2003 US Open champion holed out from 153 yards for an eagle 2 on the eighth hole -- his 17th yesterday -- and finished with a par for a 2-under par 69 and a one-stroke lead over Brian Gay after the second round of the Barclays Classic at Harrison, N.Y.

''I was between 9-iron and 8-iron," Furyk said. ''I wanted to hit the 9, but my caddie talked me out of it. After he told me what he thought the wind was doing and described the shot, I thought he was right."

The nine-time PGA Tour winner had an 8-under 134 total on the hilly, tree-lined Westchester Country Club course. He took a three-stroke lead into his morning round after opening with a 65 Thursday afternoon.

Gay birdied three of the last five holes for a 66 yesterday.

''I'm very pleased," said Gay. ''It was very tough out there. The greens are really getting baked out."

Padraig Harrington (65), Len Mattiace (65), Kenny Perry (68), John Senden (67), and Hidemichi Tanaka (68) are at 6 under.

Kevin Sutherland (68) was four strokes back at 4 under, and Vijay Singh (71) and Tom Pernice Jr. (69) were 3 under. Singh was in a much better mood after criticizing tour officials Thursday for failing to enforce slow-play rules.

''I feel good about my game," said Singh, the 1993 and 1995 winner. ''Five shots on this golf course is nothing."

European -- Eduardo Romero shot a course-record, 9-under 62 in the second of the French Open in Versailles for a two-shot lead over Jean Van de Velde and two other players.

Romero (10-under 132) broke the National Golf's Albatross course mark by two shots as he carded nine birdies.

PGA Club Pros Championship -- Alan Morin maintained his lead after the second round despite bogeying three of his last five holes to finish with a 4-over 76 at Kiawah Island, S.C.

Suzy Whaley, who became the first female PGA professional to earn a spot in the Club Pro Championship in 2002 and the first in 58 years to qualify for a PGA Tour event a year later, finished at 8-over to make the cut by two strokes.

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