Date: June 21, 2008

Aussie quartet in touch

Steve Elkington, Brett Rumford, Stuart Appleby and Jason Day are leading the Aussie charge at the Travelers Championship in Cromwell, Connecticut as they&aposre all on six under par and trail leader Stewart Cink by four shots at the halfway mark. Elkington was the biggest mover of the Australian quartet to rocket up the leaderboard from equal 105th after the first round to now be in a tie for 12th after he signed off for a six-under-par round of 64. Rumford and Appleby also made up a lot ground with second rounds of 66 respectively to be level with Elkington after they both started the day in a share of 53rd position. Meanwhile, Day replicated his first day effort by shooting another round of 67 – jumping up 16 spots in the process. Cink carded a six-under-par 64 as well to take a one-shot lead after the second round. Despite bogeys on the first two holes, Cink roared back to the top of the leaderboard, buoyed by a pair of eagles at the par-five sixth and 13th holes to move to 10-under 130 at the TPC River Highlands. Defending champion Hunter Mahan shot a seven-under-par 63 to move within a shot of Cink, alongside Ken Duke and Lucas Glover. England&aposs three representatives all had disappointing days with Londoner Brian Davis, the joint overnight leader, slipping back into a share of 11th after a level-par 70. Justin Rose also suffered a setback as he dropped from joint fifth to equal 54th after a two-over-par 72 – which included double-bogeys at the short eighth and par-five 13th – left him three under and seven shots behind Cink. Kenny Ferrie missed the cut after rounds of 68 and 71 dropped him to one under. Cink was delighted with his recovery. “It didn&apost start out very promising at all with those two bogeys. Those were ugly,” Cink said. “But I was able to right the ship and salvage quite a bit and actually got on a pretty good roll and got very confident in the middle of the round and finished off strong, too.” The 1997 champion of this event when it was known as the Greater Hartford Open, Cink wrapped five birdies around a bogey at the 10th hole to go with the two eagles. On the 6th hole, Cink hit a driver from the fairway to 20 feet. Following a three-wood from the fairway at hole 13, he dropped a 50-foot bomb. “Even though I made bogeys on the first couple holes, I just kept on staying down and staying focused on just doing what you can do, and that&aposs just stroking the putter through the ball and almost not even looking up to watch it,” Cink said. “The balls were tracking nice, and some of them went in.” “If you had told me I was going to be six-under at the end of the day, I would have told you you were from Mars.” Cink, who recorded a pair of eagles in one round for the first time since the 2006 Players Championship, has enjoyed great success here, finishing in a tie for second place in 1998. Mahan is attempting to join Phil Mickelson (2001, 2002) as the only repeat champions in the 55-year history of this event. “I hit it really well off the tee and into the green,” Mahan said. “If you put the ball in play out here, you can make a lot of birdies. Felt pretty good about my game coming into this week.” After an opening-round 68, Mahan carded a bogey-free round that featured seven birdies to join Ken Duke and Lucas Glover, who each signed for a 66, at 9-under 131. “I just feel comfortable here,” Mahan said. “I make a lot of free swings and I can play golf and I don&apost have to worry about where the ball might end up.” Second Round of The Travelers Championship (Par 70): -10: Stewart Cink 66 64 -9: Hunter Mahan 68 63, Ken Duke 65 66, Lucas Glover 65 66 -8: Brad Adamonis 64 68, Kevin Sutherland 67 65, Michael Thompson 65 67 -7: Tom Pernice Jr 65 68, Kenny Perry 66 67, Heath Slocum 67 66, Tommy Armour III 69 64 -6: Bubba Watson 66 68, Brian Davis 64 70, Fred Funk 66 68, Vijay Singh 66 68, Corey Pavin 68 66, John Rollins 70 64, John Huston 65 69, John Mallinger 67 67, Steve Elkington (Australia) 70 64, Brenden Pappas 69 65, Brett Rumford (Australia) 68 66, Ben Curtis 68 66, Stuart Appleby (Australia) 68 66, Jason Day (Australia) 67 67, Jon Mills 70 64 Also: -4: Andrew Buckle (Australia) 68 68, Peter Lonard (Australia) 66 70 -3: Nick O Hern (Australia) 68 69 -2: Tim Wilkinson (New Zealand) 67 71 -1: Nathan Green (Australia) 68 71 Ev: Steve Allan (Australia) 68 72, Rod Pampling (Australia) 72 68 +1: Matt Jones (Australia) 73 68 +2: Mark Hensby (Australia) 69 73, David Lutterus (Australia) 69 73 +3: Stephen Leaney (Australia) 72 71 +7: Gavin Coles (Australia) 72 75, Nick Flanagan (Australia) 74 73