Date: June 14, 2008

Appleby takes outright lead

Stuart Appleby carded a one-under-par 70 to take the clubhouse lead at the end of the second round of the US Open on Saturday although Tiger Woods is the man to watch. Appleby dropped a 50-foot bomb for birdie on 18 to grab the lead while Woods dropped birdies all over the place over his final nine holes to vault into contention. Appleby is at three-under 139 overall and has a one-stroke lead over Woods, Rocco Mediate and Robert Karlsson. The Aussie also recorded birdies at the 7th, 9th and 13th holes – the birdie at No.13 came at a crucial time after he conceded consecutive bogeys at the 11th and 12th. Robert Allenby and Geoff Ogilvy are the next best Australians on even par (142) while Rod Pampling sits on two-over in a tie for 16th position. Lee Westwood signed for a 71 and is at one-under 141 with Miguel Angel Jimenez, Davis Love III and DJ Trahan. “Any time you sign for level par at the U.S. Open you can&apost complain,” Westwood said. “I hit some really good shots today and didn&apost get rewarded and I hit a terrible shot on the 15th and got away with it a little bit and actually should have got away with it more and made par.” “But all in all, 71 was pretty good. It could have been 68 or 69 but 71 is pretty good and I&aposm not going to knock that back.” Woods was slow out of the gate again, but turned it on coming home. He double-bogeyed his first hole on Friday and he started with a bogey on Saturday. He bogeyed 12 but looked poised to turn things around with an eagle at the par-five 13th. But he had two more bogeys on his first nine and the comeback would have to wait until after the turn. “I was just hanging around, made an eagle on 13 but gave it right back on 16 and 17,” Woods said. “Then on the back nine, I just started making some putts.” He carded a three on the first five holes of his back nine, four of them birdies. He hit fairway after fairway and gave himself a birdie chance on just about every hole on his back nine. After three pars, he closed his round with a six-footer for birdie on number nine to wrap up a three-under 68 and get to two-under 140. Mediate had the lead at four-under for a good portion of the afternoon after he played his first seven holes in two-under. He had a three-shot cushion at one point but while Woods made a charge on his last nine holes, Mediate slipped back to the pack by playing them in two-over 38. Karlsson birdied two of his final four holes, including 18, to post his second consecutive 70 and join Woods and Mediate in a share of second. Luke Donald carded his second round of even-par 71 at Torrey Pines and is in good position. He closed with a pair of pars and was at even-par 142 after 36 holes. Donald had a pair of birdies on the front nine and started the back nine with a par at number 10. He then bogeyed the par-three 11th after missing the green and failing to get up-and-down. He dropped another shot at 12 after his approach found the deep rough to the left of the green. He chipped out to about 15 feet but missed his par putt to drop to even par for the day. He rebounded with a birdie at 13 to get to one-under and he stayed there until a bogey at the par-three 16th. “I&aposm happy with the position I&aposm in,” Donald said. “I&aposm not sure what the guys going out later are going to do, and certainly there is a three- or four-under round out there if you play well. But I will be in good position for the weekend and I am looking forward to the challenge.” After a tough opening round, Padraig Harrington found his form on Saturday and had the best round of the day yet when he signed for a four-under 67. Harrington, the reigning British Open champion, carded a 78 on Friday and entered the second round knowing it would be a battle for him to make the cut. He looked well on his way to bettering that score after playing his first nine on Saturday in two-under. He started his round on number 10 and made his first birdie at the par-five 13th. He added a birdie at the par-five 18th. Harrington maintained his strong play coming home, birdying the second and seventh and just missing from 12 feet for birdie at nine. “I had the odd missed shot but I was holing the putts that I was missing yesterday,” Harrington said. “I still made four birdies like yesterday but just holed the odd par putt here and there.” Kevin Streelman and Justin Hicks started the day tied for the lead but both tumbled down the leaderboard. Streelman went off in the early groups and stumbled to a 77 and is at three-over for the tournament. Hicks signed for an 80 to drop to six-over and barely make the cut. US Open second round scores, Torrey Pines -3: Stuart Appleby (Australia) 69 70 -2: Robert Karlsson 70 70, Rocco Mediate 69 71, Tiger Woods 72 68 -1: Miguel-Angel Jiminez 75 66, Davis Love III 72 69, D.J. Trahan 72 69, Lee Westwood 70 71 Ev: Robert Allenby (Australia) 70 72, Luke Donald 71 71, Ernie Els 70 72, Geoff Ogilvy (Australia) 69 73, Carl Petterson 71 71 +1: John Rollins 75 68, Oliver Wilson 72 71 +2: Woody Austin 72 72, Robert Dinwiddie 73 71, Rod Pampling (Australia) 74 70, Andres Romero 71 73, Scott Verplank 72 72, Camilo Villegas 73 71 Also: +4: Adam Scott (Australia) 73 73 +5: Aaron Baddeley (Australia) 74 73 +7: Jarrod Lyle (Australia) 75 74 Expected to miss the projected cut: +8: Matthew Goggin (Australia) 77 73 +14: Craig Parry (Australia) 75 81 +19: Michael Campbell (New Zealand)