Points and Imada share early Torrey lead

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By Mark Lamport-Stokes

SAN DIEGO (Reuters) - Little-known American DA Points took advantage of another calm day at Torrey Pines to charge into an early share of the second-round lead at the San Diego Open on Friday.

Despite playing on the more difficult and longer South Course, Points recorded five birdies and an eagle three at the sixth on the way to a flawless, seven-under-par 65.

The 33-year-old covered his homeward nine in five under for an 11-under total of 133 to finish level with Japan's Ryuji Imada, who carded a 68 on the South layout.

Australian Michael Sim eagled the par-five 18th on the easier North Course for a best-of-the-week 62 to lie two strokes off the pace with PGA Tour rookie Matt Every (70).

Three-times major winner Ernie Els, making his second appearance of the season on the U.S. circuit, was at five under after carding a 69 on the North.

"I've played this course a lot more than I've played the other one and I feel pretty comfortable out here," he told reporters after totaling only 25 putts.


"The main thing here is obviously just making putts and driving the fairway and those are two things that I've done the last two rounds, especially today I made a lot of putts.

"My iron game isn't quite as sharp as I would love it to be but certainly making putts is always a good way to make up for a little bit of a sloppy iron game."

Imada, whose only victory on the PGA Tour came at the 2008 AT&T Classic, was also pleased to fare well on the brutal 7,698-yard South layout.

"I'm very happy," the 33-year-old said. "It did play a little easier today without the wind and the warm weather but 68 on that golf course is a great round.

"My irons have been really good. I've hit a lot of greens and my putts from long range have been really good as far as judging the distances."

Tournament favorite and three-times champion Phil Mickelson, who opened with a 70 on the South, was among the late starters on Friday.

The cut was projected to fall at two-under 142 with 2004 champion John Daly among those likely to miss out.

(Editing by Tony Jimenez)