>> click here for more articles

Clarke Trails Maruyama by Two at Bay Hill

 Darren Clarke

Darren Clarke of Northern Ireland maintained his challenge for the Bay hill Invitational in Florida with a second round of 68 for a ten under par total of 134 and a share of second place alongside Australia’s Stuart Appleby and American Chad Campbell behind Japan’s Shigeki Maruyama, who carded a second straight 66. 

Clarke prised out six birdies from the Bay Hill course but bogeyed the tenth and 18th to allow Maruyama the opportunity to lead on his own. Clarke had a chance to share the lead when he had a 15 foot birdie putt on the 18th hole, but he three putted for bogey and a 68. He said: "I'm only two shots back going into the weekend, which is not bad.”

European Tour Members Ben Curtis and John Daly of America and Australian Adam Scott were tied for 12th on 138 while defending champion Tiger Woods has his work cut out to earn a fifth Bay Hill Invitational after a 74 for 141.

In ten previous rounds at Bay Hill, the Maruyama had never broken 70. Despite a three putt bogey to end his round, Maruyama still piled up enough birdies for his second straight 66, giving him a two shot advantage over the field.

Trying to become the first player in history to win the same tournament five years in a row, Woods was out of bounds and in the trees on his way to his two over par score, which left him nine shots behind Maruyama and needing to match his greatest 36-hole comeback to keep the streak alive.

"I just need to play well and put myself in position where I can give it a run on Sunday," Woods said. "If the leaders play well, hats off to them. I just need to take care of my own business."

Ernie Els, back on the US PGA Tour for the first time since winning the Sony Open in Hawaii, shot 72 and finished at one over 145, missing the cut by one stroke. Els had the second-longest active cut streak on the US PGA Tour (30), although that was light years behind the 119 in a row that Woods extended on Friday. Fellow South African, Retief Goosen, also missed the cut with a 74, ending his streak at 30 of consecutive rounds at par or better.


Courtesy of www.europeantour.com

>> click here for more articles