Date: July 14, 2012
Author: Omnisport

Senden in the hunt in Illinois

John Senden leads the Australian challenge after round two of the John Deere Classic but Troy Matteson retained the lead at 13-under par. American Matteson held the overnight lead following his blistering 10-under 61 on Thursday in the PGA Tour event at TPC Deere Run. He was unable to match such an extraordinary effort again a day later in Illinois, but did produce a respectable three-under 68 to stay clear at the top of the pack. Stuart Appleby was the best-performed Australian on day one with a five-under 66, but he could only post a two-under 69 on Friday. That saw him slip back to tied 23rd at seven under, one shot better off than fellow Australian Nathan Green. Senden by contrast produced an accomplished seven-under 64 to rocket 54 places up the leaderboard and into a share of 11th place. But it was veteran American Jeff Maggert who set the pace on day two, carding a nine-under 62 to climb 37 places up the standings and into a share of second. Teeing off on the back nine, the 48-year-old made a strong start with a birdie at 12 and three in succession between 14 and 16, before sinking five more birdies on the way back in, finishing without a bogey for his 18 holes. Maggert was joined in a tie for second by fellow American Brian Harman, who reached 12-under overall courtesy of his six-under-par second round of 65. The frontrunners are followed by a four-way tie for fourth at 11 under, with Americans JJ Henry, Ricky Barnes and Robert Garrigus alongside England&aposs Gary Christian, who is the highest-placed overseas player in the field. Defending champion Steve Stricker, aiming for his fourth successive victory at the John Deere Classic, is one of three players with a share of eighth spot at 10 under. Meanwhile, first-round leader Francesco Molinari shares a one-shot lead with Alex Noren at the halfway mark of the Scottish Open. Molinari, who had had a triple bogey seven on the 7th hole, carded a round of 70 – eight more than his opening round score at Inverness on Friday. Meanwhile, Sweden&aposs Noren joined him after a second successive 66 the day after his girlfriend Emelie won an event in Norway on his 30th birthday. But the big mover on a congested leaderboard was Italian teenager Matteo Manassero. Twice a winner on the European Tour already, Manassero shot a 64, including seven birdies in the last nine holes to move him into equal third, only one off the lead. The European Tour&aposs youngest-ever champion could qualify for Royal Lytham next week with a top-five finish, but his sights are on emulating what German Marcel Siem did at the Alstom Open de France last Sunday by winning to earn his spot. “The Open is on my mind and this is my last chance,” said the 19-year-old from Verona, who stands 11 under par at halfway. Argentina&aposs big-hitting Ricardo Gonzalez is joint third with Manassero, while world No.1 and defending champion Luke Donald&aposs 68 means he has only three shots to make up. India&aposs SSP Chowrasia is fifth at 10 under while Phil Mickelson&aposs 64 sees him trail the leader by just five shots. Australian Richard Green (seven under) is equal with Mickelson after he fired off a three-under third round of 69 while Marcus Fraser is three shots further back in a share of 57th spot on four under. Martin Kaymer, the 2009 champion, is alongside Donald and Padraig Harrington at six under, ensuring the final 36 holes promises plenty of quality golf.