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Tiger in the hunt after superb eagle

Tiger Woods sunk a 48-foot eagle putt on the 16th hole to move into contention after two rounds of the AT&T National at the Congressional course in Maryland.

Woods, starting five shots behind overnight leader Bo van Pelt, shot a three-under-par 68 to move to a two-under total of 140, five behind the clubhouse leader.

Woods said: "It's just one of those days where you stay patient. I thought it was a good score. I'm right there."

Van Pelt hit a disappointing second round of 73, including six bogeys, to also total 140. Glasgow's Martin Laird made a move with a fine two-under 69 to sit on a two-round total of 141.

American Hunter Mahan shot a superb 65 to move top of the leaderboard on 135, two shots clear of the chasing pack.

Robert Garrigus shot seven birdies in a four-under-par round of 67 to move tied second on 137 alongside compatriot Jimmy Walker and Zimbabwe's Brendon de Jonge, who both shot 69.

AT&T National,

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Meadow edges closer

to British Open glory

Curtis Cup heroine Stephanie Meadow will today bid to become the first Irish winner of the Ladies British Open Amateur Championship since Lillian Behan 27 years ago.

And not since 1979, when Maureen Madill triumphed at Nairn, has there been a champion from Northern Ireland.

Ranked No 20 in the world, Meadow, who knocked in the putt against the US that brought the Curtis Cup back to these shores after a 16-year wait, plays 16-year-old Dorset schoolgirl Georgia Hall in the semi-finals this morning.

Yesterday Meadow (20) disposed of fellow Curtis Cup international Amy Boulden, the Welsh champion, and France's Ariane Provot -- both by 2&1 margins -- to move into the last four.

Phelan in control of Brabazon fate

Ireland's Kevin Phelan still leads the field in the English Open stroke-play championship for the Brabazon Trophy at Walton Heath in Surrey -- but only by the skin of his teeth.

The 20-year-old went into the second round yesterday with a four-stroke advantage and looked likely to maintain a healthy lead until he hit a double bogey on the last hole.

He finished with a three-over-par 75 to add to his stunning 68 of the first day for a 36-hole halfway total of 143, one-under-par. But his lead had been trimmed to just one stroke and his chief pursuer now is Neil Raymond of Corhampton, who is bidding to become the first player to secure back-to-back Brabazon successes.

Paul Dunne of Greystones on 149 is not completely out of the reckoning after his rounds of 72 and 77. Knock's Nicholas Grant is on 153, with Reeve Whitson of Mourne and Niall Gorey from Muskerry on the 156 mark.

Kelan McDonagh and Richard O'Donovan are way down the field.

Irish Independent