Date: June 20, 2009
Author: PA Sport

Scott in the hunt at US Open

Adam Scott is the surprise leading Australian midway through his second round of the rain-affected US Open. Scott has endured a horror patch this season, missing seven of his last eight cuts. But after consecutive birdies on 11 and 12, Scott is right in the mix at Bethpage Black, sitting in a tie for sixth place at two-under through 11 holes when the second day&aposs play was called off due to darkness. He is four shots behind American Lucas Glover, who has shot a remarkable five-under for the round after 13 holes to lie at six-under-par. Compatriot Ricky Barnes is a further shot back, while Swede Peter Hanson, American Todd Hamilton and first-round leader, Canadian Mike Weir, are tied for third at four-under. Weir did not have long to savour his lead as the major moved straight into its second round. The 2003 Masters champion from Canada posted eight birdies undone by a double bogey at the par-four sixth hole to sign for a six-under-par 64, two shots clear of Hanson with former world No.1 David Duval three shots behind following a 67. But that lead had disappeared as darkness fell over Long Island with tournament officials trying to squeeze in as much play as possible having lost most of Thursday to heavy rain. Weir dropped two shots over the first nine holes of his second round with Glover replacing him at six-under, four-under for his round after 12 holes and heading to the clubhouse as overnight leader. PGA Tour rookie Ricky Barnes was a shot behind Glover having played the back nine first while Weir was tied for third with Hanson, who had played 11. Former Open champion Hamilton was at three-under after 10 holes in fifth place while Japan&aposs Azuma Yano had shot up the leaderboard and was four-under for his round after 12. That put him in a tie for sixth at two-under for the tournament with Denmark&aposs Soren Hansen, Scott, American Sean O&aposHair and England&aposs Ross Fisher, who had three birdies and a bogey playing the back nine first and had reached his 10th when the hooter sounded to suspend play for the night at 8:26pm local time. American amateur Drew Weaver and Northern Ireland&aposs Graeme McDowell were the best placed of the early starters from Thursday who were not scheduled to tee off until Saturday morning, their opening 69s good enough for a share of 12th place alongside Americans Gary Woodland, world No.2 Phil Mickelson and former world No.1 Duval. Duval, who suffered an alarming dip in form following his victory at the 2001 Open Championship, was two-over for his second round after 12 holes while Mickelson was level for his round having played 11. Englishman Ian Poulter and Sweden&aposs Johan Edfors were among a group of players at level par and waiting to begin their second rounds, joined by Americans Anthony Kim, JB Holmes and Canada&aposs Stephen Ames, four-under for the round after nine holes. McDowell came off pleased with his protracted opening round but then saw the late starters in the 156-man field finally get their first rounds under way in drying conditions on still soft greens. The Northern Irishman said he was certainly not getting carried away. “I&aposve led a few majors after day one,” McDowell said. “It&aposs not really what I&aposm trying to do. I&aposm just trying to stick around for the weekend. I&aposm trying to position myself as well as I possibly can and compete in Sunday afternoon.” The increasing number of under-par scores began to cause concern for defending champion Tiger Woods, who had been at level par with four holes to play but finished his round with a run of double bogey, bogey, par, bogey to leave him with a four-over 74. “I was right there where I needed to be, and two bad shots and a mud ball later, here we go and I&aposm at four over par,” Woods said. England&aposs Ian Poulter was happy to come home in even par as the morning wave completed their rounds while compatriots Fisher and Oliver Wilson and world No.4 Sergio Garcia of Spain later carded the same score. “Good, solid start,” Poulter said, “I&aposm very happy, three birdies, three bogeys, and it&aposs a nice start to a US Open.” Garcia had dropped a shot as his second round reached the 12th hole with a birdie at his sixth, the par-four 15th, undone by a three-putt double bogey six on the 18th. Poulter&aposs compatriot Lee Westwood shot a 72, as did Northern Ireland&aposs Rory McIlroy, who had improved to one-over after 12 holes of his second round, while Wilson slipped to two-over after nine. World No.3 Paul Casey will need to get back on track on Saturday after posting a three-bogey, one double bogey first-round 75, the same score as fellow Englishman Simon Khan while Open and US PGA champion Padraig Harrington birdied the last for a first-round 76 .