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Friday, 19 March 2010
Tiger Woods opened up a three shot lead at the halfway stage of the 129th Open Championship after a flawless 66 as he sets his sights on becoming the youngest player to win a career Grand Slam.

For the second successive round on the Od Course at St Andrews, Woods shot a bogey-free round to lie on 11 under par, three clear of another American David Toms with Sergio Garcia, Loren Roberts and Steve Flesh a further shot adrift.

Woods went to the turn in 32 and when, after driving through the green at the 314-yard 12th, he holed from 10 feet for another birdie and then converted a further
similar chance at the 14th, he led the 129th Championship by three.

Toms, making his debut in the Championship, shot a Garcia, aiming to go from last to first in successive Opens, shot a 69 to lead the Euroepan Tour challenge. Three-putting the 17th for bogey look a little of the icing
off the cake, but he said: "I've shot two good scores and hopefully I'll be able to keep it going.

"If I can be in contention on the back nine on Sunday it will be quite a thrill. I feel like I'm playing a lot like Medinah (his duel with Woods last August) and I'd love to
match up with Tiger again.”

He had five birdies, but as well as the 17th he made a sloppy five on the ninth, pulling a nine-iron into sand.

Overnight leader Ernie Els Els remains a danger after a 72 and he reamins on six under par. Alongside him on 138 are 40-year-old Fred Couples, who reached
eight under before plugging his approach to the 16th in sand and double-bogeying, Phil Mickelson and Dane Thomas Bjorn.

Current European number one Darren Clarke is only one further back on five under following a 69 containing five birdies between the ninth and 15th.

Colin Montgomerie, who has won the Volvo Order of Merit the last seven years is far from out of it at three under after a 70 but defending champion Paul Lawrie missed
the cut on on nine over and former St Andrews winners John Daly (1995), Seve Ballesteros (1984) and Nicklaus (1970 and 1978) all missed out as well - Nicklaus in
what almost certainly is his last Open.

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