Date: June 16, 2007

Baddeley tames Oakmont

Aaron Baddeley is in a share of third after taming the brutal Oakmont course on a day where few made inroads into their round-one scores. Baddeley played consistent golf on one of the toughest courses in the world to register two birdies and two bogies for an even par round of 70 and had the clubhouse lead for most of the morning with Justin Rose. But it&aposs not all good news for the Aussies with defending champ Geoff Ogilvy one of the many to suffer at the hands of the Oakmont course. After an outstanding first round 71 to be in a share of fifth, Ogilvy has dropped four shots and now sits at six over at the halfway mark of the tournament. Argentine Angel Cabrera is the outright leaders at the end of day two, and has a one shot advantage over second placed American Bubba Watson, both players firing rounds of 71. Cabrera is on even par, his controlled 71 on the second day backing up his first round score of 70. Paul Casey turned in a stunning performance in the second round but overnight leader Nick Dougherty had a nightmare struggling to a seven-over round of 77 and tumbling down the leaderboard. Casey shined on Friday, shooting a four-under-par 66, the low round of the tournament, to vault into contention at the season&aposs second major. The USGA announced on Friday morning that the greens were back up to their practice round speed after Wednesday&aposs thunderstorm, but that mattered very little to Casey but quite a bit to the rest of the field. After digging himself a hole on Thursday, Casey dug in on Friday, firing five birdies with just one bogey to lie at three over 143 after 36 holes. Dougherty, who led after the first round on two under, was two clear of the field after a birdie on the 13th, his fourth hole, but immediately ran into trouble at the next. A three-putt bogey there was followed by a double bogey six on the next, and another dropped shot on the 18th took him out in 38. Starting his round on the 10th after a 77 on Thursday, Casey got off to a flying start with a birdie and kept up the momentum throughout his front nine. Playing in his fifth US Open, the 29-year-old added birdies at the long par-five 12th, 14th and 17th. His lone mistake came at the 18th where his approach was off to the right and long, settling in the rough just off the green. He chipped to about 10 feet but two-putted for his first bogey of the day. Phil Mickelson looked like he was going to join Casey in carding a low round on Friday but he undid any momentum he built with birdies at the fourth and sixth with a horrible close to his front nine. The left-hander double-bogeyed the seventh and added bogeys at the eighth and ninth Things got no better for him on the back nine as he started his inward half with a double bogey at the 10th. A pair of pars were just temporary relief as Mickelson bogeyed 13, 15 and 16 and 18, sprinkling in a birdie at the 14th to lie at 11 over for the championship. Tiger Woods is still in striking distance after 36 holes, the world number one firing a 74 to go to five over. Results from round two of the US Open, Pennsylvania: +1: Bubba Watson 70 71, Angel Cabrera 69 71 +2: Stephen Ames 73 69, Aaron Baddeley (Australia) 72 70, Justin Rose 71 71, Niclas Fasth 71 +3: Paul Casey 77 66, +4: Tom Pernice Jr. 72 72, Carl Pettersson 72 72, Brandt Snedeker 71 73, Jerry Kelly 74, David Toms 72, 72, Scott Verplank 73 71 +5: Peter Hanson 71 74, Chad Campbell 73 72, Nick Dougherty 68 77, Graeme McDowell 73 72 also: +6: Stuart Appleby (Australia)74, Geoff Ogilvy (Australia) 71, 75 +10: Marcus Fraser (Australia) 72 78, Nick O Hern (Australia) 76 74, Mathew Goggin (Australia) 71 73 +14: Andrew Buckle (Australia) 73 81, Robert Allenby (Australia) 75 79 +16: Rod Pampling (Australia) 81 75, Nathan Green (Australia) 74 82 +18: Adam Scott (Australia) 76 82 +23: Steve Elkington (Australia) 84 79