Former Georgia Tech star Troy Matteson shot an 8-under 64 yesterday for a share of the second-round lead in the AT & T Classic in Duluth, Ga., with former University of Georgia player Ryuji Imada.

Matteson and Imada (67) had 10-under 134 totals on the Greg Norman-designed TPC Sugarloaf. And both failed to take full advantage of the 18th hole, a par 5 that gave up 20 eagles in the second round.

D.J. Brigman (67) was a stroke back, and first-round leader Kevin Sutherland (71) followed at 8 under. Masters champion Zach Johnson (66) was 7 under along with Camilo Villegas (67) and Craig Kanada (70). Villegas flamboyantly removed his cap and bowed to the gallery after hitting a 5-iron within 6 feet on No. 18 set up an eagle.

Imada birdied the 18th, while Matteson made a par. "The greens might have been a little softer," Imada said. "The pins were in an easier position, though, today. So it was easier."

Matteson, who became the first Georgia Tech player to win an NCAA individual title 5 years ago, expects to engage in some trash talk with Imada, the best player on the Georgia team that won the 1999 NCAA team championship.

Even though he attended Georgia Tech after Imada left Georgia, the rivalry between the two schools remains intense.

"You know, obviously we hated one another in school, but we're pretty good friends now," Matteson said. "If [Imada] wins or a Tech guy wins, it's always a little bit of bragging rights to take home with you, but it's all in good fun now."

Johnson, the 2004 tournament winner, gained six shots on the field with his 66.

"I love playing in Georgia," said Johnson, an Iowa native. "The people are great here, and things have worked for me OK."

Matteson, whose lone PGA Tour victory came last fall in Las Vegas, entered his second event at TPC Sugarloaf having missed two straight cuts and six of 10.

In other tournaments:

* At Hoover, Ala., Seve Ballesteros got off to a terrible start in his Champions Tour debut, opening with a double bogey and finishing with a 6-over 78 to fall 13 strokes behind leader Scott Hoch in the Regions Charity Classic.

* At Clifton, N.J., Lorena Ochoa birdied five of her final eight holes for a 5-under 67 and a share of the second-round lead with Sarah Lee in the LPGA's Sybase Classic. Ochoa and Lee (69) had 9-under 135 totals.

Noteworthy

* A gas explosion inside the kitchen of the new clubhouse at Kiawah Island (S.C.) Golf Resort injured four construction workers, course officials said.

Two of the workers were taken by helicopter to a hospital burn unit in Augusta, Ga., according to course and hospital officials. Their conditions were not immediately available.

The other two workers were listed in fair and in stable condition at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, hospital spokesman Tim Gehret said. *