Date: May 16, 2009
Author: Sportal and PA Sport

Leishman in the hunt

Marc Leishman failed to replicate his superb first round, but is still in contention at the halfway mark of the Texas Open. Leishman, who fired a six-under-par 64 in his first round, mixed five birdies with four bogeys on his way to a one-under 69 and a tie for 10th place, five shots behind runaway leader Paul Goydos. Aron Price is the next best Australian in a tie for 18th place, while Greg Chalmers and Matt Jones both had solid second rounds to be in a share of 25th place. James Nitties and Nathan Green have a lot of work to do if they are to trouble the leaders, currently in 37th and 57th places respectively. Steve Allan, Nick O&aposHern, Jarrod Lyle, Mark Hensby, Stephen Leaney, Stephen Dartnall and Jason Day all failed to make the cut. Goydos pulled ahead of overnight co-leader Justin Leonard to move up to 12-under overall and a three-stroke lead. The Americans had begun the day tied at seven-under-par with former Open champion Leonard, a Texas native, who started early at the par-70, 6,896-yard Resort Course at La Cantera and followed his first-round 63 with a two-under 68 to move to nine-under. Goydos set off in pursuit later in the day and got off to a bad start with a bogey on his first hole at the par-four 10th. But it was to be the only blemish on his card as the 2008 Players Championship runner-up knocked off six birdies for a five-under 65. “Another good day,” Goydos said. “Really only had one mediocre shot all day, and that was on the first hole.” “I made bogey, and after that I played reasonably well.” “Yesterday I made a bunch of birdies and bogeyed the last hole. And today I bogeyed the first hole and birdied some. Twenty-five putts today.” “When you&aposre under and on pace to break 100 putts (for the week), you better play well and that&aposs the situation.” Mathias Gronberg, Ted Purdy, John Mallinger and Scott Sterling are all equal with Leonard in second place, one stroke clear of Kent Jones, Fredrik Jacobson and Brian Davis. Meanwhile, Shane Lowry became only the second amateur to lead a European Tour event at the halfway stage when he took the lead at The Irish Open. While local hero Padraig Harrington failed to survive the halfway cut despite improving five shots on his opening 73 and American star John Daly went out as well, the comparatively little-known Lowry scorched round the Baltray links in a magical 10-under-par 62 to take him to 15-under overall. And that matches the lowest round ever achieved by an amateur on the circuit, by German Sven Struver 20 years ago. “It&aposs like a dream really – when do I wake up?” he said after taking a two-stroke lead over England&aposs Robert Rock and Welshman Jamie Donaldson. “This is as good as I can ask for and it&aposs hard not to think about winning now, but I&aposm just going to go out and play as best I can.” Brett Rumford and Marcus Fraser were the only two Australians to make the cut and are currently at five-under and four-under respectively. Texas Open After Round 2 -12: Paul Goydos 63 65 -9: Justin Leonard 63 68, Mathias Gronberg 66 65, Ted Purdy 64 67, John Mallinger 67 64, Scott Sterling 68 63 -8: Kent Jones 67 65, Fredrik Jacobson 66 66, Brian Davis 65 67 -7: JP Hayes 71 62, Stephen Ames 66 67, Greg Owen 65 68, Marc Leishman (Australia) 64 69 -6: Briny Baird 68 66, Lee Janzen 66 68, Bill Haas 67 67, Jeff Maggert 64 70 Also: -5: Aron Price (Australia) 69 66 -4: Greg Chalmers (Australia) 69 67, Matt Jones 67 69 -3: James Nitties (Australia) 68 69 -1: Nathan Green (Australia) 70 69 E: Steve Allan (Australia) 70 70, Nick O&aposHern (Australia) 70 70, Tim Wilkinson (New Zealand) 69 71 +2: Jarrod Lyle (Australia) 72 70 +3: Mark Hensby (Australia) 69 74 +5: Stephen Dartnall (Australia) 73 72, Stephen Leaney (Australia) 71 74 +7: Jason Day (Australia) 76 70 +8: Phil Tataurangi (New Zealand) 72 76 Second Round of the Irish Open -15: Shane Lowry (AM) 67 62 -13: Jamie Donaldson 66 65, Robert Rock 66 65 -12: Paul Lawrie 66 66 -11: Nick Dougherty 66 67, Roope Kakko 66 67, Thomas Levet 67 66 -10: Johan Edfors 64 70, Soren Kjeldsen 67 67, Lee Westwood 68 66, Oliver Wilson 66 68 -9:Wil Besseling 69 66, Alastair Forsyth 67 68, Jose Manuel Lara 67 68, Pablo Martin 70 65, Andrew McLardy 69 66, Colin Montgomerie 70 65, Garry Orr 68 67 Also: -5: Brett Rumford (Australia) 73 66 -4: Marcus Fraser (Australia) 69 71 -2: Richard Green (Australia) 71 71 -1: Peter O&aposMalley (Australia) 76 67 E: Scott Strange (Australia) 76 68 +1: Mark Brown (New Zealand) 71 74 +4: Scott Arnold (AM) (Australia) 78 70, Michael Campbell (New Zealand) 76 72