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Black bear steals show at Senior Open

By The Associated Press Modified: August 2, 2008 at 12:37 am •  Published: August 2, 2008
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The Broadmoor's East Course was quite a bear Friday.

Difficult pin placements and faster, drier greens flustered the field and only five golfers managed to shoot below par, including Fred Funk, whose 1-under 69 gave him the lead at the halfway point of the U.S. Senior Open.

Funk's two-day score of 6-under 134 is two shots ahead of Eduardo Romero (69) and four ahead of Mark McNulty (70), Tom Kite (71) and John Cook (72).

Stealing the show, however, was a black bear that ambled out of the mountains in the morning and crossed the 13th fairway before checking out spectators outside the ropes. No one was harmed, and neither was the bear.

"(Jack) Nicklaus isn't here, so I guess that's a substitute,” cracked Funk.

Although tournament officials were prepared to tranquilize the animal and stop play were it to become aggressive or spooked, after several minutes the bear crawled through a drainage pipe on the ninth hole that leads to the West Course, then went through another drainage pipe and into the wilderness, leaving unnerved galleries and golfers behind.

•Singh leads Mickelson by 1: Without Tiger Woods around, Vijay Singh and Phil Mickelson brought some star power to the final World Golf Championship of the year.

Singh twice escaped from the trees on his closing holes at Firestone and renewed his affair with a belly putter on his way to a 4-under 66 at the Bridgestone Invitational in Akron, Ohio, putting his name atop the leaderboard for the first time in more than four months.

He was one shot ahead of Mickelson, who made another great escape at the end of the second round, this time holing a 20-foot par putt to finish off a 66 that put him in the final group with Singh.

Sixteen players were within four shots of the lead, including Oklahoma State's Hunter Mahan, who shot 66 and was at 3-under 137.

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Vijay Singh blasts out of the sand on the first hole during the second round of the World Golf Championships at Firestone Country Club on Friday in Akron, Ohio. Singh is leading the tournament at 7-under par. ASSOCIATED PRESS

A black bear runs across the 13th fairway in front of golfer Bernhard Langer during the second round of the 2008 U.S. Senior Open at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colo. on Friday. ASSOCIATED PRESS

The same black bear that crossed in front of Bernard Langer on the 13th fairway Friday, also ran in front or startled TV commentator Dottie Pepper. ASSOCIATED PRESS


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