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Lead Shared in Australian PGA

December 1, 2000

BRISBANE, Australia (AP) _ A course record by Robert Allenby wasn’t enough to pass fellow Australian Steve Conran, and they shared the Australian PGA championship lead at the halfway mark Friday.

Allenby exploited near-perfect morning conditions at Royal Queensland to post a course-record 8-under 64 before the afternoon players headed out into a stiffening easterly wind.

Conran’s 65 in the afternoon came in conditions that Greg Norman described as ``very tough.″

Conran and Allenby were five shots clear of the field at 11-under-par 133.

The first-round leader, American Chris Riley (66-72), slipped off the pace to share second place with Australian Peter Lonard (69-69).

Top-ranked Australian Craig Parry disqualified himself after inadvertently signing for a round of 69 Thursday when he shot 70.

``It’s the first time it’s ever happened to me in my career,″ said Parry, whose card was marked by Norman on Thursday.

Norman, who got himself back into the tournament with a 66 Friday, said he felt bad about the error.

``I wrote the score down,″ Norman said. ``You don’t feel great about it. I felt it was my fault, but he said it wasn’t because ultimately it was his responsibility to check his card.″

Conran, who bases himself in Japan for half the year, started Friday’s round with three birdies and an eagle to go 5 under through five holes.

Allenby, who like Conran began the day off the 10th tee, had eight birdies and an eagle, slipping up only once when he bogeyed the 11th hole _ his second.

Allenby, who finally broke through for two wins on the U.S. PGA tour this season, got his score to 10 under after 13 holes, but confessed playing the final holes with the wind picking up was difficult.

``I knew this morning was a chance to shoot a really good score, and my aim was to make the most of it, put a score on the board and try and get to the top of the leader board and let everyone else figure out the afternoon wind.″

Australian Open champion Aaron Baddeley, who enjoyed the fine conditions Thursday morning to shoot 68, found the going more difficult Friday, shooting 73.

Former British Open champion Ian Baker-Finch, now a commentator for ABC-TV in the United States, shot a second-round 72 in his first tournament in three years. But he missed the cut after shooting 77 on Thursday.

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