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Tiger in position to make run

After a dismal first round left him on the wrong side of the cut at the Western Open, Tiger Woods figured he could get right back in it with a 64 or 65.

He was close, shooting a 5-under-par 66 yesterday, six strokes behind leader Chris Couch and giving him at least a chance to make a move this weekend.

Couch, who earned a spot here by winning the Nationwide Tour's LaSalle Bank Open last month, is at 9-under 133 after a 67. Tim Herron (66), Jim Furyk (70), and Duffy Waldorf (65) are one stroke behind.

Ben Curtis, who shared the first-round lead with Furyk and Todd Fischer, shot an even-par 71 and is two strokes off the lead. Fischer (72) is at 136 with Steve Flesch.

''It's still a long tournament," Couch said. ''I'm trying not to think too far ahead. I'm going to take it shot by shot and keep trying to have some fun."

Woods didn't have much fun Thursday. His 2-over 73 left him tied for 103d and in jeopardy of missing the cut.

LPGA -- Annika Sorenstam survived a big scare in the second round of the HSBC Women's World Match Play Championship in Gladstone, N.J., holing a 30-foot birdie putt on the 21st hole to beat Tina Barrett.

Sorenstam, coming off a 23d-place tie last week in the US Women's Open, overcame three two-hole deficits before taking her first lead with a conceded par on the par-3 17th. The Swedish star needed only to halve the par-4 18th to win, but bogeyed the hole -- missing an 8-foot par try -- to send the match back to No. 1.

Second-seeded Cristie Kerr and No. 4 Paula Creamer were eliminated.

Champions -- Ron Streck, the first player to use a metal wood in competition on the PGA Tour, had a 9-under 62 and held a two-stroke lead over Craig Stadler in the opening round of the Commerce Bank Championship in East Meadow, N.Y.

Dave Eichelberger, Wayne Levi, Darrell Kestner, and Gary McCord had 65s as 51 of 78 players broke par.

European -- In Straffan, Ireland, Thomas Bjorn shot a 3-under 69 to share the lead with Jamie Donaldson (70) at the European Open.

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