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Tiger ups AT&T spot; Mahan leads Evans

BETHESDA, Md. — A punishing golf course. Temperatures that topped 100. Hunter Mahan still managed to make Friday at Congressional feel like a breeze.

Mahan finally had a good score to match the efficient way he has been swinging the club. He made seven birdies in the stifling heat for a 6-under 65, giving him a two-shot lead going into the weekend at the AT&T National as he goes after a PGA Tour-leading third win of the year.

Chris Couch sought medical attention and struggled to finish in the oppressive conditions. One caddie had to stop after nine holes, and another vomited to the side of the 13th green from drinking too much water.

Tiger Woods stayed in the game with a 68 in the morning, when it was still so hot that towels were used to wipe sweaty faces more than to clean clubs. He talked about the value of staying fit and strong to survive days like this. He was five shots behind.

Mahan was at 7-under 135. His two rounds fulfilled what his swing coach, Sean Foley, said Thursday when describing his ball-striking as "a laser show."

Robert Garrigus had his sixth straight sub-par round at Congressional — that includes last year at the U.S. Open when he became a footnote in history as only the fourth American to break par all rounds of a U.S. Open — with a 67 and was two shots behind, along with Jimmy Walker and Brendon De Jonge, who each had a 69.

United Leasing Championship

At Evansville, Ind., Jason Allred shot a 1-over par 73 in the second round but failed to make the cut at the Victoria National Golf Club.

The Ashland native's 73 followed a 75 in the opening round for a 148 total. The cut line was at 143.

Allred got off to a shaky start Friday with bogeys on four of the first five holes.

Australian Alistair Presnell holds the halfway lead with an 8-under-par 136 in the first event of the renamed Web.com Tour, which replaces Nationwide as the title sponsor of the tour.

Presnell has a one-shot lead over three other players.

Senior Players Championship

At Pittsburgh, defending champion Fred Couples birdied the final three holes in sweltering conditions for a 7-under 63 and the second-round lead in the Senior Players Championship.

Couples, the winner last year at Westchester Country Club in Harrison, N.Y., reached 11 under at Fox Chapel on a day when the temperature reached 96 degrees with a heat index of 105. He won the Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic in March for his seventh victory on the 50-and-over tour.

Couples is thriving in the heat, in part because it's better for his chronically bad back. He has complained about stiffness all week, saying his back is sore after receiving his regular anti-inflammatory injections two weeks ago. The 1992 Masters champion has one bogey through two rounds.

NW Arkansas Championship

At Rogers, Ark., Veronica Felibert shot a career-best 6-under 65 on Friday to take the first-round lead in the LPGA Tour's NW Arkansas Championship.

Felibert, a rookie from Venezuela who made the field as the second alternate, had seven birdies and needed only 27 putts at Pinnacle Country Club. The round came after the former Southern California player missed the cuts in her previous three tournaments, and one week after switching to a new putter.

China's Shanshan Feng, the LPGA Championship winner this month, was a stroke back.

Irish Open

At Portrush, Northern Ireland, Frenchman Gregory Bourdy shot a 5-under 67 to take a one-stroke lead in after the second round of the Irish Open, while home favorite Rory McIlroy edged his way into contention.