Graeme Storm shot an impressive eight-under 64 to take the clubhouse lead alongside Richard Green as play was suspended for the second successive day at the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship on Friday.
England’s Storm and the Australian Green were among the few afternoon groups who completed their second rounds. With 27 players still out on the course the second round was scheduled to be completed early yesterday morning.
Green, who shot a 65 on Friday, and Storm were leading in the clubhouse at 11-under 133, with the English duo of Paul Casey and Anthony Wall a shot behind.
Casey, champion in 2007, is playing his first tournament after tying the knot during the break with his long-time girlfriend Jocelyn.
Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy, celebrating cementing a place inside the world’s top 50 toward the end of last year, had rounds of 66 and 69. The world No. 40 was at nine-under 135 along with Sweden’s Johan Edfors and Australian Brett Rumford.
World No. 2 Sergio Garcia of Spain was lagging behind at three-under 141 after a 71, but Padraig Harrington, winner of three of the last six Majors, moved up to seven-under 137 with a fine round of six-under 66.
Both the leaders played in the same group and while Green had a superb front nine, going out in just 30 shots, Storm made an eagle on the 10th and finished his back nine in five-under 31. Storm, winner of the 2007 French Open, credited his performance to his fondness for the golf course and the fact that he spent a lot of time during the off-season working on his fitness.
“I love this course,” Storm said. “The greens are putting the best I’ve ever seen them, which is helping me a little bit. I’m reading the green a little bit better than I did last year, but I’m driving the ball pretty straight too.”
AFP, HONOLULU, HAWAII
Australia’s Nathan Green fired his second consecutive four-under 66 on Friday to join Tom Pernice of the US atop the leaderboard after the second round of the US PGA Sony Open.
An early start and surprisingly perfect conditions at Waialae Country Club gave Green the perfect backdrop to share the lead at eight-under 132 after 36 holes.
“I don’t think the conditions were as bad as we thought they were going to be,” Green said. “Last night, you could hear the wind whipping. It didn’t seem anywhere near as strong as they predicted.”
Green fired five birdies against one bogey in his bid to claim his first US PGA title. His best prior finish in 90 US PGA starts was a runner-up effort at the 2006 Buick Invitational.
Pernice, who teed off later in the day, fired a sizzling 63 with five birdies and an eagle at the par-five 18th hole.
Japan’s Shigeki Maruyama, who led after the first round with an opening 65, followed with a 68 to share second with American Brian Gay on 133.
Another stroke back are Webb Simpson and Zach Johnson, the 2007 Masters champion, who had five birdies and an eagle at the ninth, but also two bogeys.
Aussie Geoff Ogilvy fired a 69 to stand on 135 with Steve Marino, Boo Weekley and Charles Howell.