Austin and Calcavecchia take 2-stroke lead in Merrill Lynch Shootout

Austin and Calcavecchia take 2-stroke lead in Merrill Lynch Shootout

NAPLES, Fla. (AP) — Woody Austin and Mark Calcavecchia shot a 12-under 60 in best-ball play Saturday to take a two-stroke lead over tournament host Greg Norman and Bubba Watson after the second round of the Merrill Lynch Shootout.

Calcavecchia made a 5-foot eagle putt on the par-5 17th hole on the Norman-designed Tiburon (“shark” in Spanish) Golf Club course.

“It came at a good time,” said Calcavecchia, who teamed with Steve Elkington to win the 1995 tournament. “We nearly made birdie on the last hole, so it kind of gave us a little bit of a boost going into (Sunday).”

Austin and Calcavecchia had a 20-under 124 total. They opened with a 62 on Friday in the modified alternate-shot format. The 12 two-man teams will play a scramble Sunday.

“We go out and play the way we played the first two days, and I think we like our chances,” Austin said.

Norman and Watson shot a 61.

“Any win is a great win, no question about it,” Norman said. “Did I ever think that I would be having a chance to win a golf tournament again? Probably not, because I don’t put the effort or practice schedule into it that I used to. It’s not the fact that my desire is not there, it’s just that I don’t feel like to hit balls a lot anymore.”

Scott Hoch and Kenny Perry shot a 62 to join defending champions Jerry Kelly and Rod Pampling (64) and Elkington and Scott McCarron (62) at 14 under.

Fred Funk and Jeff Sluman, who shared the first-round lead with Austin and Calcavecchia, were five back at 13 under after a 67. Anthony Kim and Mark O’Meara also were 13 under after a 63.

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