Date: March 20, 2009
Author: PA Sport and Sportal

Appleby makes his move

Stuart Appleby is just one shot off the lead at halfway point of the Transitions Championship in Florida. Appleby carded a second round of 67 to move up to a tie for third place at five-under and one stroke behind joint leaders Nick Watney and Steve Stricker. While Watney and Stricker, both of whom have finished runner-up to Phil Mickelson in the past month, improved two strokes on their opening 69s, first-round pacesetter Jim Furyk crashed to a 78, his worst round on the PGA Tour for nearly two years. The world number 11, who shot seven birdies in his first-day 65, did not manage one on his return to the Innisbrook Resort&aposs Copperhead course and, after five bogeys, put the seal on a day to forget by double-bogeying the short 17th. Watney was second to Mickelson at last week&aposs WGC-CA Championship, while Stricker, also now six-under-par, bogeyed the last hole to lose by one as well at the Northern Trust Open in Los Angeles. They go into the weekend one in front of fellow Americans Jonathan Byrd, 50-year-old Tom Lehman, Charles Howell, Troy Matteson, JJ Henry and Joe Ogilvie, South African Retief Goosen and Appleby. Tasmanian Mathew Goggin struggled during the second round, eventually signing for a 74 and a share of 26th place at one-under, while fellow Australians Nick O&aposHern (even-par), Nathan Green (even-par), Steve Elkington (one-over) and Aron Price (one-over) are still in contention. Compatriots Greg Chalmers, James Nitties, Jason Day, John Senden, Marc Leishman, Peter Lonard, Rod Pampling, Adam Scott, Jarrod Lyle and Stephen Leaney all failed to make the halfway cut. It was a similar story for the Australians at the Madeira Islands Open in Portgual. Four Australians teed up in the European Tour tournament, but none of them will be in action during the weekend after they all missed the cut. Northern Ireland&aposs Michael Hoey leads the tournament at seven-under, with Australians Michael Curtain (nine-over), Scott Barr (10-over), Matthew Millar (11-over) and Kane Webber (11-over) struggling in the windy conditions.