Date: June 02, 2007

Rumford one adrift

Brett Rumford has fired a three under round of 66 to take his score to seven under at the halfway mark of the Wales Open at Celtic Manor on Friday. After being in a share of the lead overnight, Rumford, is now part of a group in second spot on the leaderboard after 36 holes. Matthew Zions is also in touch with the leader after carding a second-round 67 to go to five under for the tournament, while Aussies David Bradson (68) and Marcus Fraser (69) both have some work to do at minus two and minus one respectively. But in a blow for tournament organisers, favourite Retief Goosen and defending champion Robert Karlsson, the top two players in the Open, both went crashing out. Two weeks before he tries for a third US Open victory in seven years Goosen, the only member of the world&aposs top 25 taking part in the event, slumped to a second-round 73 on the par-69 lay-out. It completes a miserable two weeks for the South African star before he heads across the Atlantic for the second major of the year. He also made an early exit from the BMW PGA Championship last Friday. Playing partner Karlsson, another who is Oakmont-bound, had a 69, but a two-over total, three better than Goosen, was still not good enough on the same course where he set European Tour records for 36 and 54 holes last June by opening 61-63-65. Their departures left Colin Montgomerie as the highest-ranked player still standing in the tournament. But if you think he should have been happy after a 64 – his lowest round for exactly a year – then think again. The eight-time European number one moved up into the top 25 from 81st at the start of the day, yet he was positively disgusted not to be closer to the surprise leader, Dane Mads Vibe-Hastrup. As it was he improved from one over par to four under, which leaves him four strokes to make up on 28-year-old Vibe-Hastrup, who is trying to emulate compatriot Anders Hansen&aposs success at Wentworth last weekend. The big difference between the two is that Hansen had won the European Tour&aposs flagship event before, whereas Vibe-Hastrup does not have even a top-three finish to show for 122 starts on the circuit. Ranked a lowly 442nd in the world and 149th on this season&aposs Order of Merit, the Challenge Tour graduate achieved a career-best 63 thanks in part to a spectacular eagle on the long 16th, where his three-wood approach rolled to within a foot of the flag. On the eight-under mark he is one in front of Scots Alastair Forsyth and Steven O&aposHara, round in 65 and 66 respectively, and also Rumford. Results from round two of the Celtic Manor Wales Open, Wales : -8: Mads Vibe-Hastrup 67 63 -7: Alastair Forsyth 66 65, Steven O&aposHara 65 66, Brett Rumford (Australia) 65 66 -6: Paul Broadhurst 65 67, Michael Campbell 66 66, Nick Doughherty 69 63, Bradley Dredge 66 66, David Frost 68 64, Ricardo Gonzalez 65 67, Gr gory Havret 69 63, Mikko Ilonen 67 65, Martin Kaymer 69 63, Gary Orr 65 67 also: -5: Matthew Zions (Australia) 66, 67 -2: David Bransdon (Australia) 68 68 -1: Marcus Fraser (Australia) 68 69 missed cut: E: Peter O&aposMalley (Australia) 73 65, Peter Senior (Australia) 70 68 1: Andrew Tampion (Australia) 68 71 3: Wade Ormsby (Australia) 73 68 4: Terry Price (Australia) 69 73 5: Matthew Millar (Australia) 72 71