Paul Azinger is halfway to shedding his bridesmaid role in Hawaii.
Azinger, who has finished second three times and in the top 10 on five other occasions when the Sony Open was known as the Hawaiian Open, shot a 5-under-par 65 yesterday in Honolulu to reach the midway mark with a five-stroke lead.
"I've been in this position before," Azinger said in not trying to look beyond the third round. "Winning here would mean as much to me as all the guys behind me, I'm sure. If I don't win, I'll feel secure, I'll be in the place I'm supposed to be. I'm willing to accept whatever happens. I'm at a point where I believe everything happens for a reason."
Azinger's 36-hole score of 12-under 128 kept him well clear of three players, two of whom are former Hawaiian Open champions.
John Huston won the last Hawaiian Open in 1998, shooting a PGA Tour-record 28-under-par score over the Waialae Country Club course.
Sharing second with Huston were Jim Furyk and Stuart Appleby, all with 67s that left them at 7-under 133.
At 6-under 134 were defending champion Jeff Sluman, Jerry Kelly, Vijay Singh and Chris DiMarco.
Gary Nicklaus, making his PGA Tour debut on a sponsor's exemption, shot a 70 to reach the midway mark at 1-under 139.
* LPGA: Karrie Webb overcame a 9 on the fourth hole to shoot a 3-over-par 75 for a three-stroke lead after two rounds of the wind-buffeted Office Depot tournament in West Palm Beach, Fla.
After a day facing a north wind of 25 mph with gusts to 36, Webb, the leader by two strokes after the first round, was at 4-under 140.
"It looked like I was playing tennis on that hole," Webb said of the par-5 fourth hole. "No, I don't remember the last time I made a quadruple bogey. But it's just one of those things. I was trying 100 percent on every shot."
Fan favorite Nancy Lopez, 43, shot a 1-over 73 to move into second at 143. Liselotte Neumann and Juli Inkster, tied for second with 67s after the first round, matched 77s and were at 144 with Beth Daniel, who had a 76.
* EUROPEAN PGA: Rain disrupted the Alfred Dunhill Championship in Johannesburg for the second straight day, but not enough to keep Namibia's Trevor Dodds from finishing a first-round 69, then shooting a 7-under 65 for a two-stroke lead midway through an incomplete second round.
Eighty-one players in the field of 156 were still on the course when fading light forced them to stop.
CAPTION: Paul Azinger, who has finished in top 10 in Hawaii eight times without winning, watches his tee shot on No. 11.