Date: February 07, 2009
Author: Sportal and PA Sport

Goggin in the hunt

Australian Mathew Goggin has consolidated his position in the top 10 at the halfway mark of the Buick Invitational in San Diego. Goggin mixed four birdies with two bogeys on his way to a two-under-par 70, which took him to five-under overall and a tie for six place. He trails leader Camilo Villegas by six strokes after the Colombian also shot a 70, while American John Rollis rocketed up to second place with a sizzling eight-under-par 65. A winner of two events last year, including the Tour Championship, Villegas moved to 11-under 133. He shot a blistering nine-under-par 63 in Thursday&aposs first round. Villegas had extended the lead to six strokes midway through yesterday&aposs round, but Rollins roared into contention with a sensational final nine holes. Rollins, who started his round on the 10th hole, made up six shots in an eight-hole span on the front side, including a birdie-eagle-birdie spree from numbers four to six. Bidding for his first title since the 2006 BC Open, Rollins pulled into a tie with Villegas after a birdie at the par-three eighth. With a chance to grab the outright lead at the par-five ninth, Rollins drove into the rough and hit his third shot into a greenside bunker, forcing him to settle for a bogey and sole possession of second place. Charley Hoffman is in outright third place on seven-under, one shot ahead of Nick Watney and Paul Goydos. Aaron Baddeley shot a disastrous four-over 76 to drop down to two-under, equal with fellow Aussies Nathan Green, Stuart Appleby and Marc Leishman in a tie for 17th. Matt Jones had an up-and-down round that included an eagle, three birdies, four bogeys and a double bogey, but still remains at one-under overall. Aron Price shot his second consecutive even-par round to be in a tie for 44th, while Jarrod Lyle and Jason Day are a further stroke back. James Nitties recaptured some of the form that saw him finish in a tie for fourth last week, shooting a five-under-par round to ensure he made just the second cut of his short PGA Tour career, albeit by one stroke. Rod Pampling and John Senden will also play the weekend after they finished tied with Nitties on the cutoff mark. However, there was no such luck for Steve Allan, Greg Chalmers and Peter Lonard, who all fell short. Reigning British Open and PGA champion Padraig Harrington bogeyed two of his first four holes and never got on track, carding a 74 to fall 12 shots off the lead. Harrington is playing in his first tournament of the season after having two non-malignant melanomas removed from near his right eye. Torrey Pines was the site of last year&aposs classic performance by Tiger Woods, who won the US Open in memorable fashion, playing with a torn knee ligament and microfractures in the same leg en route to capturing a 19-hole playoff over Rocco Mediate. Woods, who still is recovering from knee surgery and is not playing this week, has won this event six times, including the last four. Last year, the No.1 posted an eight-stroke victory to set a tournament record. Buick Invitational Round 2 -11: Camilo Villegas 63 70 -10: John Rollins 70 64 -7: Charley Hoffman 71 66 -6: Nick Watney 69 69, Paul Goydos 72 66 -5: Jason Gore 70 69, Matthew Goggin (Australia) 69 70, Bubba Watson 71 68, Harrison Frazar 69 70, Luke Donald 70 69 -4: Jason Duffner 70 70 -3: Kent Jones 70 71, J J Henry 70 71, George McNeill 71 70, Chris Stroud 73 68, Scott Sterling 69 72 -2: Nathan Green (Australia) 70 72, John Huston 71 71, Stuart Appleby (Australia) 68 74, Ryuji Imada 70 72, Bart Bryant 73 69, Robert Garrigus 68 74, Phil Mickelson 70 72, Ben Curtis 76 66, Marc Leishman (Australia) 74 68, Lucas Glover 69 73, Aaron Baddeley (Australia) 66 76, Retief Goosen 71 71, Bill Haas 72 70, DA Points 70 72, Ricky Barnes 69 73 Also: -1: Matt Jones (Australia) 70 73 E: Aron Price (Australia) 72 72 +1: Jarrod Lyle (Australia) 71 74, Jason Day (Australia) 69 76 +2: Rod Pampling (Australia) 72 74, James Nitties (Australia) 79 67, John Senden (Australia) 76 70 +4: Steve Allan (Australia) 72 76 +5: Greg Chalmers (Australia) 73 76 +8: Peter Lonard (Australia) 78 74