Date: June 13, 2009
Author: PA Sport and Sportal

Allenby heats up St Jude Classic

Robert Allenby has surged into contention at the St Jude Classic after moving to within two shots of the lead when play was suspended for the day. The Australian, who lost in a play-off to Justin Leonard at last year&aposs tournament, charged up the leaderboard thanks to six birdies in a nine-hole stretch to sit at eight-under overall with three holes still to play in his second round. With hail, lightning and 70 miles per hour winds closing in on TPC Southwind, tournament officials blew the horn to suspend play at 4:23pm local time. Play will resume at 7am on Saturday when 78 players will have to return to complete their second rounds. When the third round begins following the halfway cut, players will be re-grouped in threesomes rather than pairs and play off split tees. Allenby is currently tied for second alongside Bryce Molder, two shots behind Brian Gay who bogeyed the last holes of his round. Allenby made four consecutive birdies between holes 13 and 16 – guaranteeing him a 39th straight cut in his last 40 starts. The only tournament he has failed to play on the weekend in that time is the Verizon Heritage earlier this year. Fellow Aussie Jason Day also rocketed up the leaderboard, his five-under 65 seeing him move into a share of 12th place alongside compatriot John Senden (66). Greg Chalmers is also at five-under with two holes to play in his second round. Nathan Green carded a 66 and is a further stroke back at four-under. Gay, who won the Verizon Heritage in April by 10 strokes, had long posted his second-round score when the hooter sounded. The American had taken a two-shot lead into Friday&aposs play and quickly set about trying to build an equally formidable lead to the one he enjoyed at Harbour Town Links with five birdies in his first eight holes before a bogey at the 10th. He moved to 12-under, five shots clear of the field with birdies at the par-four 12th and 15th holes but his good work was undone a little with his disappointing finish as he carded a four-under-par 66, adding to his opening 64 to move to 10-under at the halfway stage. With many of the chasing pack including world No.2 Phil Mickelson and Europeans Jose Maria Olazabal and Mathias Gronberg among the day&aposs late starters, PGA Tour veterans Guy Boros, Woody Austin and Loren Roberts took up the challenge. Austin, 45, won the tournament in 2007 and he moved into contention once again with a second-round 66 to move to seven-under, three shots adrift of the lead. Boros, 44, was also at seven-under following his second-round 66, while Champions Tour regular Roberts, 54 later this month and competing in his hometown tournament, shot a bogey-free 67 to reach the clubhouse at six-under. That put him level with former US PGA champion Rich Beem, who shot a 68 and Heath Slocum, who had the low round of the day with a 63 which was matched later by fellow American Molder. David Toms will return on Saturday looking to make further inroads into Gay&aposs lead, currently standing at seven-under with four to play, while Colombia&aposs Camilo Villegas and American Vaughn Taylor were at six-under after 14 and 10 holes respectively. Ireland&aposs Padraig Harrington was facing another battle with the cutline as he teed off among the afternoon starters and he will return in the morning still looking to make up shots over his last three holes. The reigning Open and US PGA champion missed his fourth cut of the year on US soil at last week&aposs Memorial and opened the St Jude Classic with a two-over 72. By the time he began his second round, that was already two shots adrift of the predicted cut line and the Irishman was still level par after 15 holes. John Daly, though, looked to be heading into the weekend following a two-under 68 that moved him to level par in his first PGA Tour tournament since completing a six-month suspension for misconduct. His survival could have been cut and dried had he not double-bogeyed his last hole, the par-four ninth. World No.4 Sergio Garcia was another player facing an early exit ahead of next week&aposs US Open after the Spaniard posted a 73 to fall to three-over for the week, alongside Welshman Richard Johnson, who failed to build on his opening 67 and was five-over for the day after just eight holes. The man who succeeded Garcia as Players Championship winner last month, Sweden&aposs Henrik Stenson, was also facing an early exit in Tennessee following a 75 that moved him to eight-over. St Jude Classic Round 2 Play Suspended -10: Brian Gay 64 66 -8: Bryce Molder 69 63, Robert Allenby (Australia) 67 (-5, after 15 holes) -7: Woody Austin 67 66, Guy Boros 67 66, David Toms 67 (-4, 14) -6: Heath Slocum 71 63, Rich Beem 66 68, Loren Roberts 67 67, Camilo Villegas 68 (-4, 16), Vaughn Taylor 67 (-3, 10) -5: Jason Day (Australia) 70 65, Brett Quigley 69 66, Jason Dufner 68 67, John Senden (Australia) 69 66, Retief Goosen 68 67, Vance Veazey 67 68, Kevin Stadler 69 (-4, 17), Greg Chalmers (Australia) 68 (-3, 16), Harrison Frazar 69 (-4, 16), Jose Maria Olazabal 66 (-1, 13), Jeff Overton 68 (-3, 11), Chris Stroud 66 (-1, 10) Also: -4: Nathan Green (Australia) 70 66 -3: Marc Leishman (Australia) 69 68 -1: Aron Price (Australia) 73 66, Peter Lonard (Australia) 71 (-2, 17), James Nitties (Australia) 70 (-1, 12), Jarrod Lyle (Australia) 68 (1, 9) E: Nick O Hern (Australia) 72 68 +1: Tim Wilkinson (New Zealand) 71 70 +4: Aaron Baddeley (Australia) 75 (-1, 15), Steve Allan (Australia) 70 (4, 13), Stephen Leaney (Australia) 75 (-1, 13) +7: Matt Jones (Australia) 75 72