Date: June 06, 2009
Author: Sportal

Pampling, Day in contention

Rod Pampling has shot a one-under-par 71 to sit three shots behind the leaders after the second round of the Memorial Tournament at the Muirfield Village Golf Club. Compatriot Jason Day is alongside Pampling at minus four despite a round of 73. American duo Jonathan Byrd and Jim Furyk share a one-stroke halfway lead over Canadian Mike Weir and Mark Wilson. Byrd carded a solid bogey-free four-under-par 68 to move onto seven under overall, while Weir scattered three bogeys across his card but crucially picked up the fifth birdie of his second round at the 18th to take his place at the top of the leaderboard after a two-under 70. Former Masters champion Weir moved up into a tie for third with a second-round 69 which included six birdies and three bogey. The Canadian was joined at six under par by Wilson, who reached the turn in four under but dropped two shots over his final five holes to miss out on the outright lead after being forced to settle for a second-round 70. Japan&aposs Ryuji Imada (69) and Matt Bettencourt (68) sit tied for fifth a further shot off the pace, with Ernie Els (70), Davis Love III (68) and first-round leader Luke Donald (76) in a group at four under. During his first round Donald reeled off eight birdies in nine holes around the turn to leap to the top of the overnight leaderboard, but his second-round four-over-par effort included just one birdie and four of his five bogeys over the final seven holes of his opening nine holes. After starting on the back nine, he pulled a shot back with a first birdie of the second day at the par-four first, but handed the shot back two holes later before playing his last seven holes in level par. World No.1 Tiger Woods dropped down the leaderboard after carding a two-over 74 to join world number three Paul Casey (70) at one under and tied for 24th. “I&aposm encouraged by that,” Woods said. “I just need to hit my irons a little better and obviously make the short ones. I missed two or three of those today.” Although six shots off the pace, Woods and Casey will be around for the whole weekend, unlike Open champion Padraig Harrington who missed the cut by four strokes after slumping to a five-over-par 77 to drop to eight over. World No.9 Vijay Singh, Justin Rose, Brian Davis and Adam Scott also missed the cut. European Tour rookie Richie Ramsay takes a one-shot lead into the third round of the Celtic Manor Wales Open – and hopes his experience of playing with some of the biggest names in golf will now pay dividends. After becoming the first Scot in 108 years to win the US Amateur title three years ago Ramsay partnered Phil Mickelson at The Masters, Tiger Woods at the US Open and Padraig Harrington in The Open. The 25-year-old from Aberdeen missed the cut in all three, but after rounds of 68 and 67 so far this week he is seven under par on the course where next year&aposs Ryder Cup will take place. Having also partnered Sergio Garcia a week ago at the European Open Ramsay said: “They&aposve all got great talent, but they can grind out a score when they are not playing so well.” “Sometimes I can be a bit hard on myself, but I&aposve learnt to take the positives of each round more now. “Sergio&aposs been my favourite since I&aposve been a little kid and to play with him was brilliant.” Even more so because he out-scored the world number four by six with a 68. Ramsay did not drop a stroke today and added: “Ball-striking it was up there with the best. I didn&apost miss a green and I missed three birdie putts inside six feet.” The two Englishmen right on his heels are both looking to improve on recent near-misses. Robert Rock lost a play-off for the Irish Open to amateur Shane Lowry – still taking the first prize of 438,000 softened the blow of that – while Ross Fisher was pipped for the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth by Paul Casey. In an event disappointingly featuring only three of the world&aposs top 50 Fisher is the highest-ranked player at 23rd and he showed his class with a 66. “This is a great opportunity – a chance to cash in big time,” he said. “I obviously didn&apost want to miss the cut defending the European Open last week, but after a weekend off I feel as fresh as a daisy and I probably needed it.” Rock reached eight under, then dropped four strokes in three holes, then finished with two birdies like Fisher. “I felt myself taking less and less time over the shots and it just slipped away a bit, but when we got to the next leaderboard I was relieved to see I hadn&apost put myself four or five behind.” He does not have to worry about Lowry this weekend. It is now two missed cuts out of two as a professional for only the third amateur to win a Tour title – and both of them by wide margins. The 22-year-old improved just two shots on his opening 75 to exit on 10 over. Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie is only three behind Ramsay after a second successive 69 – and, given that he has not had a top 10 finish for almost a year, that is a huge boost for a tournament so short on star names. It promised to be even better for the 45-year-old when he set off with three birdies in a row and shared top spot. But it was a sign of how much his confidence has suffered when he said that, even with that start, he was happy with his score. “It could have and should have been better, but I am learning to accept what&aposs given,” commented Montgomerie. Opposite number Corey Pavin, taking his first look at the cup venue, also repeated his first day score, but in his case it was another 72 and he had to wait several hours before discovering that he had made it into the final 36 holes with nothing to spare. The former US Open champion had already launched a charm offensive, saying his warm reception so far has left him wondering if there is a mean person in Wales. The Memorial Tournament After Round 2 -7: Jonathon Byrd 69 68, Jim Furyk 67 70 -6: Mike Weir 69 69, Mark Wilson 68 70, -5: Ryuji Imada 70 69, Matt Bettencourt 71 68 -4: Steve Marino 68 72, Rod Pampling (Australia) 69 71, Ernie Els 70 70, Stewart Cink 68 72, Chris DiMarco 73 67, Matt Kuchar 73 67, Charl Schwartzel 72 68, Jason Day (Australia) 67 73, Luke Donald 64 76, Davis Love III 72 68 -3: Dustin Johnson 73 68, Daniel Chopra 72 69, Alex Cejka 73 68 Also: +1: John Senden (Australia) 71 74 +2: Nick O Hern (Australia) 73 73, Geoff Ogilvy (Australia) 72 74, Stuart Appleby (Australia) 72 74, Matthew Goggin (Australia) 73 73 +4: Marc Leishman (Australia) 74 74, Robert Allenby (Australia) 72 76 +7: James Nitties (Australia) 73 78 +8: Danny Lee (New Zealand) 79 73 +9: Peter Lonard (Australia) 77 76, Aaron Baddeley (Australia) 79 74 +14: Adam Scott (Australia) 77 81 Second Round of the Wales Open -7: Richie Ramsay 68 67 -6: Ross Fisher 70 66, Robert Rock 68 68 -5: Fredrik Andersson Hed 70 67, Ignacio Garrido 68 69, Jean-Baptiste Gonnet 69 68, Jeev Milkha Singh 69 68 -4: Nick Dougherty 66 72, Mark Foster 69 69, Colin Montgomerie 69 69, Fabrizio Zanotti 67 71 -3: John Bickerton 69 70, Thomas Bjorn 66 73, Magnus Carlsson 70 69, Marc Cayeux 70 69, Stephen Dodd 72 67, Simon Dyson 74 65, Richard Finch 71 68, Marcus Fraser (Australia) 69 70, Richard Green (Australia) 68 71, Peter Hedblom 72 67, Gary Lockerbie 69 70, Callum McCaulay 68 71, Paul McGinley 68 71, Alan McLean 66 73, Paul Waring 71 68, Danny Willett 73 66 Also: -1: Wade Ormsby (Australia) 69 72 +1: Mark Brown (New Zealand) 70 73, Michael Curtain (Australia) 71 72 +2: Scott Strange (Australia) 72 72 +3: Brett Rumford (Australia) 74 71, Kane Webber (Australia) 75 70 +5: Michael Campbell (New Zealand) 74 73 +6: Peter Senior (Australia) 72 76 +8: Peter Fowler (Australia) 80 70 +9: Matthew Millar (Australia) 75 76