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Golf roundup

Els takes lead in rainy 2d round

Associated Press / March 13, 2010

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Ernie Els was in the lead and off the golf course, and he wasn’t sure which made him feel better.

Rushing to finish as dark clouds gathered over the Blue Monster, Els made one last birdie for a 6-under-par 66 and a one-shot lead over Robert Allenby before heavy rain temporarily halted play yesterday in the CA Championship in Doral, Fla.

Eighteen players had to wait nearly three hours before they could resume the second round. When it finally ended, Els had his first lead after any round on US soil since he won the Honda Classic two years ago.

“It’s in the books, and we were pretty lucky to get done,’’ he said. “We ran the last two holes just to get in the house.’’

He was at 10-under-par 134, courtesy of three straight birdies early in his round, when his shotmaking was supreme, and how he held it together when the wind and weather changed quickly and dramatically.

Els was standing over his tee shot on the par-3 fourth when he felt a gust, not unusual except that this one felt cold.

“I’m just about to pull the club back and I just felt this chill come over. And I thought, ‘What’s going on here?’ And the wind just changed right there,’’ he said.

He came up short of the green and scrambled for par.

“Very, very strange,’’ Els said. “I think the only other time I had that happen was in Scotland when the tide changed. Other than that, I’ve never seen that happen.’’

Allenby was tied for the lead until a three-putt from 50 feet in rain so strong he could barely see the flag. The bogey gave him a 67 and will put him in the final group with Els today.

Padraig Harrington (68) and Soren Hansen (69) were at 6-under 138.

PGA — Skip Kendall topped the Puerto Rico Open leaderboard at 5 under after nine holes when first-round play was suspended because of darkness in the rain-delayed event.

Heavy morning rain suspended play just 20 minutes after the first tee time and the round didn’t resume until 4:35 p.m.

Kendall eagled the par-4 10th — his first hole of the day — and added three birdies,

Ladies European — Italy’s Giulia Sergas shot a 4-under 69 to take a three-stroke lead after the second round of the Women’s Australian Open in Melbourne.