Date: September 08, 2007

Baddeley shares lead in Illinois

Aaron Baddeley has rocketed into a share of the lead at the halfway mark of the BMW Championship in Illinois after a superb six under 65 on day two. The Aussie fired eight birdies and just two bogeys on his way to nine-under for the tournament and shares top spot with overnight leader Jonathan Byrd who shot a 69. Baddeley said after the round that he felt like he was in good form coming into the tournament. “I&aposve been hitting the ball better all year, and my misses are getting straighter,” he said. “I feel I have very good control over the shape and trajectory of my shot.” Stuart Appleby is just three shots adrift after a second round 68, while Nathan Green and Adam Scott are also within striking distance two shots further back. Justin Rose remained in contention for his maiden victory in the United States, one stroke from the halfway lead after the second round at the BMW Championship in Illinois. Rose, who shot a six-under-par 65 yesterday, could not back up that opening effort, but he did his chances little harm with a two-under 69 at soggy Cog Hill. He is equal third with Tiger Woods, Steve Stricker and Camilo Villegas at eight-under 134. “It&aposs nice to get back on the horse,” said Rose who missed the cut at last week&aposs Deutsche Bank championship. “Last week was disappointing, so it&aposs nice to get some confidence going straight away. I&aposm in the thick of it. I&aposve hit some great shots the first two days.” He never quite found top gear, his round highlighted by an unlikely eagle at the par-five 15th, his sixth hole, where he holed an 80-foot bunker shot. He also had three birdies and three bogeys on a course that played relatively easy, despite gusty winds. Rose, who despite his lofty world number 15 ranking is still winless in the US, is one of three British players in the field, along with Ian Poulter and Luke Donald. Poulter, who needs to finish probably no worse than second to advance to next week&aposs Tour Championship, faces a tall order after shooting 72 to fall seven shots behind. Donald continued his recent struggles with a 70 to remain near the tail of the field. For the second successive day, officials brought tee times forward in an effort to beat possible thunderstorms, which never happened yesterday. However, they were not so fortunate on Friday, as barely an hour of play was possible before the skies opened, dumping more than half an inch of rain and causing a nearly three-hour suspension. The BMW is the third of four events in the new FedEx Cup play-off series. Seventy players qualified for the BMW Championship, although only 66 started, with Padraig Harrington and Phil Mickelson notable absentees. The top 30 players on a points list after the BMW qualify for the Tour Championship. Rose, at 23rd in the standings, is assured of advancing, but Donald, ranked 28th, is vulnerable. Mickelson leads the standings from fellow Americans Stricker and Woods. Woods is in the running to win the prize awarded to the points leader after the Tour Championship, even though he skipped the first play-off event. He has a great record at Cog Hill, winning the old Western Open three times – in 1997, 1999 and 2003. Second Round of the BMW Championship (par 71) -9 Aaron Baddeley (Australia) 68 65, Jonathan Byrd 64 69 -8 Justin Rose 65 69, Steve Stricker 68 66, Tiger Woods 67 67, Camilo Villegas 65 69 -7 Pat Perez 66 69 -6 Stuart Appleby (Australia) 68 68 -5 Ryuji Imada 67 70, Hunter Mahan 69 68, Tim Clark 68 69 -4 Nathan Green (Australia) 67 71, Charley Hoffman 68 70, Sergio Garcia 68 70, Adam Scott (Australia) 69 69, K.J. Choi 68 70 also: +1 Nick O&aposHern (Australia) 70 73, Robert Allenby (Australia) 75 68 +3 Rod Pampling (Australia) 73 72 +4 John Senden (Australia) 71 75 +9 Geoff Ogilvy (Australia) 78 73