Date: December 09, 2007

Norman armed for shootout

Greg Norman is proving an impressive host with the Australian superstar and playing partner Bubba Watson just two shots off the pace after the second day of the Merrill Lynch Shootout. The pair followed up its seven-under-par opening round to move to 18-under-par, a couple of strokes back from Woody Austin and Mark Calcavecchia. The all-American team of Austin and Calcavecchia was co-leading the event after the first round but cleared off from Norman and the long-hitting Watson courtesy of a 12-under-par 60. Defending champions Jerry Kelly and Rod Pampling (64), Scott Hoch and Kenny Perry (62) and Steve Elkington and Scott McCarron (62) are locked away in third at 14-under-par. Fred Funk and Jeff Sluman, equal leaders after 18 holes, could manage just a five-under-par 67 to drop off the speed. Of the others, Fred Couples and John Daly share 11th with Stewart Cink and Masters champion Zach Johnson. Couples and Daly carded an eight-under 64 to Cink and Johnson&aposs 65 to be tied at 10-under-par. Norman told reporters at the close of the day that he is still confident of claiming victory in the scramble format competition. “Tomorrow our chances are pretty good,” he said. “I quite honestly feel like I&aposm putting very, very well. So, the two of us are putting well. We&aposre going to be putting from the same place tomorrow and we&aposre going to have a lot of good looks at it.” Merrill Lynch Shootout, round two -20 Woody Austin & Mark Calcavecchia -18 Greg Norman (AUS) & Bubba Watson -14 Steve Elkington (AUS) & Scott McCarron, Scott Hoch & Kenny Perry, Jerry Kelly & Rod Pampling (AUS) -13 Fred Funk & Jeff Sluman, Anthony Kim & Mark O&aposMeara -11 Chris DiMarco & Camilo Villegas, Brad Faxon & Justin Leonard, Charles Howell III & Nick Price -10 Fred Couples & John Daly, Stewart Cink & Zach Johnson