Morning Newsletter

Watney takes lead at Quail Hollow

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Nick Watney answered what he referred to as a wake-up call at the Wells Fargo Championship by taking the lead.

Tiger Woods might need one after missing the cut.

Watney had gone nine straight rounds on the PGA Tour without breaking 70 and had failed to crack the top 10 in all nine of his stroke-play tournaments this year. He worked hard to change that, and it paid off Friday with an 8-under 64 that gave him a one-shot lead over Webb Simpson going into the weekend.

A two-time winner last year, Watney had failed to crack the top 30 in a full-field event this year, and missed the cut in New Orleans for his first weekend off at a tournament since July.

"I think last week was a wake-up call for me," Watney said. "And I've worked really hard these five days leading into this event. I think it just shows I'm making progress. Who knows what's going to happen this weekend, but I'm really excited for it. More hard work, and hopefully I'll be in this position a lot more."

Woods wound up in rare position.

He failed to make a birdie on any of the par 5s or any hole on his back nine, missing a 4-foot birdie putt on his 17th hole with the cut on the line. Woods wound up with a 73 — his eighth consecutive round in the 70s — for an even-par 144 to miss the cut by one shot.

It was only the eighth time in 267 events on the PGA Tour that Woods missed the cut, and the first time it happened at the same place twice — Quail Hollow, where in four trips before the downfall in his personal life Woods had won once and never finished worse than 11th.

"This is one of my favorite tour stops, and unfortunately, I'm just not going to be around for the last two days," Woods said.

Phil Mickelson and Lee Westwood narrowly avoided joining him.

Mickelson was right on the cut line and facing a scary finish on the par-3 17th over water and the par-4 18th, with a stream running down the left side and trees and trouble on the right. He played both holes perfectly for pars, though his 72 left him 11 shots out of the lead.

Lefty couldn't believe how much the course had changed from Thursday morning, especially with the swirling wind that made the course nearly tough enough to let Woods back into the tournament. Woods was tied for 85th when he finished. As players backed up, he was tied for 72nd.

Seventy-four players made the cut at 1-under 143, the first time in the 10-year history at Quail Hollow the cut was under par.

Lehman leads Champions

THE WOODLANDS, Texas — Tom Lehman had an eagle and five birdies on the first eight holes on the back nine, then bogeyed the par-4 18th for a 7-under 65 and a one-shot lead after the first round of the Champions Tour's Insperity Championship.

Fred Funk and Houston native Tom Jenkins were tied for second, and past winners John Cook and Bernhard Langer topped a large group at 68.

Manassero shines in Spain

SEVILLE, Spain — Italian teen Matteo Manassero boosted his hopes of making the U.S. Open on Friday by moving into contention at the 100th Spanish Open in Seville after the second round.

Manassero's 2-under 70 moved him to 4 under for the tournament and one stroke behind leader Gregory Bourdy (66) in windy conditions.

The 19-year-old Manassero shared second place with Jorge Campillo (72) of Spain and the England duo of Robert Rock (72) and Simon Dyson (69).

Former U.S. PGA Championship winner Shaun Micheel, the first-round leader, bogeyed his last three holes to shoot 77 and slip to level par overall.

Manassero, ranked 64th in the world, needs to be inside the top 60 as of May 21 to ensure a place at the U.S. Open, which starts June 14 in San Francisco.

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