Casey, Donald Five Ahead at World Cup

Friday, November 19th 2004, 11:38 am
By: News On 6

SEVILLE, Spain (AP) _ Englishmen Paul Casey and Luke Donald surged to a five-stroke lead in the second round of the team World Cup on Friday after shooting an 8-under-par 64.

The pair has a total of 19-under 125. Austrians Martin Wiegele and Markus Brier carded a 70, with a half dozen teams six strokes behind the leaders: South Africa (65), Sweden (67), Spain (68), Japan (69), Ireland (71) and the United States (67).

Scott Verplank and Bob Tway are competing for the Americans. The Oklahoma friends play almost every practice round together on the PGA Tour. Their round turned at No. 9, where Verplank hit a 3-wood to 15 feet and Tway sank the eagle putt.

``From that point on we started to hit a lot of solid shots,'' Verplank said.

Casey and Donald made four straight birdies starting at No. 3. In one stretch, they birdied nine of 14 holes, playing the alternate-shot format.

England shot a 61 Thursday playing better ball to trail co-leaders Ireland and Austria by one. On Friday, Ireland's Paul McGinley and Padraig Harrington slipped to a 71.

Casey made all nine of his team's birdie putts _ all under 15 feet _ with sunny skies and a light breeze leaving the Real Club de Golf course open to low scores.

``I actually felt I didn't play very well,'' Casey said.

The English had few problems. When they did, Donald saved pars with crucial putts. After four straight birdies, Donald salvaged a par from 12 feet on No. 7. On 10, he saved par from 20 feet.

``The putts were dropping well for us,'' Donald said. ``There were not many holes where we did not have a birdie chance.''

The only slip came at 18, where a poor chip by Casey led to the day's only bogey.

``It's going to leave a little bit of a sour taste in our mouth,'' Donald said.

Austrians Wiegele and Brier didn't buckle after a 60 Thursday. They will play with the English in the last group Saturday when the format returns to better ball.

For Ireland, which shot a 60 Thursday, any chance of a decent round was ruined when Harrington found water on the 16th, leading to a double-bogey 7.

``The golf gods shined on us yesterday, but it wasn't the case today,'' McGinley said.

Casey, who apologized Thursday for his derogatory comments to English newspapers about Americans, was confronted on the course Friday by American Amy Sabbatini, wife of South African player, Rory Sabbatini. She wore a handmade sign that read: ``Stoopid Amerikan.''

Casey told the English newspapers he ``hated'' Americans. He said he made the statement in the context of the attitude he had going into the Ryder Cup two months ago.