Date: August 08, 2009
Author: Sportal and PA Sport

Allenby in the hunt

Australia&aposs Robert Allenby remains in contention at the halfway point of the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational. Allenby backed up his 68 in the first roudn with a one-under-par 69 on Friday to lie in a tie for seventh place, four shots off the pace. Nick O&aposHern and Geoff Ogilvy are also in the hunt at one-under and even-par respectively. Stuart Appleby carded an impressive 68 to move to two-over, while Mathew Goggin (four-over), Nathan Green (five-over) and Adam Scott (five-over) are all facing a tough weekend. A 69 from Padraig Harrington kept the field at bay as the Irishman maintained his lead. Three-time major winner Harrington had produced his best round of the year with a 64 at Firestone on Thursday to lead by two from Thailand&aposs Prayad Marksaeng, Tim Clark of South Africa and American Scott Verplank. The Irishman picked up where he left off as he began his second round well, moving to seven-under-par after five holes. He bogeyed the par-four eighth, the only blemish on his round, but rebounded at the 13th courtesy of a birdie from 30 feet. “Shooting that score yesterday gave me a great chance for the tournament,” Harrington said. “Anything under 70 from here on in is going forward so I&aposm quite pleased to have shot 69.” The Dubliner admitted his second round had been less aggressive than his first but added: “I normally play the first rounds cautiously.” “I was a bit cautious today. I was more worried about my misses rather than having that sort of confident attitude and going after a few more pins.” “You know that if you shortside yourself you&aposre going to have difficulty getting up and down. But you&aposve got to make some birdies.” “My short game has been good enough, so I probably should be a little bit more aggressive over the weekend.” Harrington will take a one-shot lead into the third round on Saturday, with Clark on six-under following a 68. Verplank matched Harrington with a 69 that left him at five under while Marksaeng moved into a share of the lead at seven under before falling off the pace on the way to a which left him at four under. Also four under are Americans Steve Stricker, who carded a 69, and Jerry Kelly, who hit a 65. In a field reduced to 79 players following the withdrawal through injury of Paul Casey during the first round, Spain&aposs Alvaro Quiros made a big move into contention with a 65 to move from two-over to three-under. American Woody Austin was also on three under following a 68, as was former Masters champion Zach Johnson. World No.1 Tiger Woods, a six-time winner at Firestone, returned a 70 to stay at two-under-par, while playing partner Sergio Garcia carded a 72 to fall back to level par. Four birdies in his first 12 holes moved England&aposs Oliver Wilson to five-under-par for the week but three bogeys on his back nine left the Ryder Cup player with a 69, two-under for the tournament. Open champion Stewart Cink and US Open winner Lucas Glover also finished two-under. World No.2 Phil Mickelson added a 69 to his opening 70 while English duo Nick Dougherty and Lee Westwood both shot 71 to move to level par. Meanwhile, A spectacular 10-under-par 62 which equalled the course record catapulted last year&aposs joint runner-up John Rollins into a two-shot lead after the second round of the Legends Reno-Tahoe Open in Nevada. The 34-year-old American played the stretch from the fourth to the 11th holes at Montreux Country Club in eight*under with an eagle and six birdies and then finished with two more birdies. From 18th place overnight, Rollins charged to 12-under-par, finishing the day two shots clear of former US PGA champion Shaun Micheel and four ahead of another American pair Robert Garrigus and Chris Riley and Australia&aposs US Tour rookie Marc Leishman. First round pacesetter Rod Pampling finished among a group of six players a shot further back, five behind Rollins after following up Thursday&aposs 67 with a two-under-par 70. The Australian did well to recover after running up a quadruple-bogey nine at the long 11th, his second hole of the day. Pampling also took a bogey six on the fourth, but grabbed seven birdies to improve to seven-under. Pampling&aposs nine came when his ball finished amongst some rocks and, deciding to give it a go, he caught a rock instead of the ball. “The next one I hit it again and just bladed it,” he said. “It was just dead, so I took an unplayable and then came up short in the bunker.” “I was really trying my hardest to not let that happen today, but thankfully I made a really nice putt on the next and that switched my momentum back on again.” “I&aposm definitely not far out of it. Obviously it could have been a good round, but still it was a decent round and I&aposve got the next two days to fix it up.” Second Round of the Bridgestone Invitational -7: Padraig Harrington 64 69 -6: Tim Clark 66 68 -5: Scott Verplank 66 69 -4: Prayad Marksaeng 66 70, Steve Stricker 67 69, Jerry Kelly 71 65 -3: Woody Austin 69 68, Alvaro Quiros 72 65, Zach Johnson 67 70, Hunter Mahan 68 69, Mike Weir 71 66, Robert Allenby (Australia) 68 69 -2: Stewart Cink 69 69, Oliver Wilson 69 69, Tiger Woods 68 70, Retief Goosen 71 67, Angel Cabrera 70 68, David Toms 69 69, Lucas Glover 69 69, Davis Love III 72 66, Boo Weekley 69 69 Also: -1: Nick O Hern (Australia)72 67 E: Geoff Ogilvy (Australia) 69 71 +1: Danny Lee (New Zealand) 68 73 +2: Stuart Appleby (Australia) 74 68 +4: Matthew Goggin (Australia) 73 71 +5: Nathan Green (Australia) 74 71, Adam Scott (Australia) 78 67