Date: April 05, 2008

Goggin fires up in Texas

Johnson Wagner continues to lead the field at the Shell Houston Open as Australian first round hope Adam Scott had a nightmare second round, allowing compatriot Matthew Goggin to claim joint second position. Wagner and Scott had been on top of the leaderboard going into Friday&aposs second round (US time) at the Redstone course after both players posted nine-under 63s on day one, but Scott slumped disastrously, carding a four-over 76 as he clings precariously to a top 10 place heading into the weekend. Wagner, however, was not quite so spectacular in his second round, but he still managed a solid three-under 69 to top the tournament&aposs leaderboard on 12-under overall, three strokes ahead of his nearest challenger in Goggin. As Scott slipped off the pace, Goggin produced a sensational eight-under 64 to be at nine-under overall. It looked as if Goggin may have an up and down day of it after he had produced one birdie and one bogey within the first four holes. But the Australian finished his front nine with two eagles to his name before coming home with a further four birdies. Goggin is level with American Charley Hofman (70) and two strokes ahead of third-placed American Chad Campbell, while Nicholas Thompson is in a tie for fifth at six under with five holes to play in his second round after play was suspended due to poor light at the Texas course. Scott, meanwhile had a shocker from the outset. He dropped two strokes on his front nine after recording three bogeys and a birdie and it did not get much better after turning for home with another bogey on 11. The Australian lifted somewhat with consecutive birdies on 15 and 16 that temporarily lifted him into a tie for fourth before a bogey and double bogey to finish saw the joint first round leader drop off the pace. At five under overall, Scott is now just one stroke ahead of compatriot Geoff Ogilvy (73) and Stuart Appleby (70), while Steve Elkington (73) is a further stroke back. Rod Pampling (72) is at two-under for the tournament alongside Stephen Leaney who has not finished his round either. Both players are one stroke ahead of Robert Allenby (68) who enjoyed a better second round after a poor Thursday that saw him card 75. At one-under, Allenby is alongside New Zealand&aposs Tim Wilkinson, who also has five extra holes to play on Saturday, and compatriot Michael Sim, who only managed 12 holes on Friday. Mark Hensby (74), Nathan Green (70), Aaron Baddeley (72) and Jason Day are all expected to make the projected cut of even par, although Day, who is on one-under for the second round to be at even-par overall, still has some work to do. It wasn&apost such good news for Matt Jones, Steve Allan, Peter Lonard and Nick O&aposHern as all four Australians will miss the cut, although David Lutterus (two over on leaderboard, 12th hole), Brett Rumford (four over, 13th hole) and Nick Flanagan (five over, 15th hole) all have slim chances of playing on the weekend. For New Zealander Michael Campbell, the horror show just goes on and on. After posting a nine-over 81 on the first day, the former major winner posted an 11-over 83 to finish the first two days on 20 over for the tournament.