Sun, Jan 17, 2010 - Page 18 News List

Palmer leads by a shot in Honolulu

AFP , HONOLULU

Steve Stricker plays the 17th hole during the second round of the Sony Open at the Waialae Country Club in Honolulu, Hawaii, on Friday.

PHOTO: AFP

Ryan Palmer of the US closed with three birdies in his last four holes on Friday to shoot a four-under 66 and take a one-stroke lead after two rounds of the PGA Sony Open.

Palmer helped cap his round with a monster drive on the par-five 18th hole to finish at nine-under 131 in the US$5.5 million Hawaii tournament.

Palmer, a two-time winner on the PGA Tour, said the key for him was not to let his emotions get carried away.

“I’m not going to sit here and say I’m not going to think about being in the lead,” he said. “Who doesn’t think about it when they tee off on Saturday in the final group.”

Defending champion Zach Johnson, Robert Allenby and Chad Campbell shared second place at eight-under 132.

Aussie Allenby and Johnson, of the US, were part of a group of six first-round leaders. They both shot three-under 67 on Friday, while Campbell fired a superb 64.

Allenby, who sprained an ankle on Monday, is coming off two consecutive wins in Australia and South Africa.

“I’m managing my way around the golf course,” Allenby said. “When you feel good, you play a little more aggressively. Now I’m backing off a little bit, hitting into little areas, hoping to make up-and-down or hit it close.”

Seventeen players were separated by four shots going into the final two rounds.

Steve Stricker had a 67 and was joined in the group at seven-under 133 by John Merrick (68) and Jeff Quinney (67).

Another shot back was Davis Love and Masters champion Angel Cabera (68). Paul Goydos had a tournament-low 63 and was in the group at 135.

Fijian Vijay Singh shot 72 and made the cut on the number.

Among those that missed the cut were John Daly (71) and 19-year-old Japanese star Tadd Fujikawa.

■JOBURG OPEN

REUTERS, JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA

Britain’s David Lynn fired a four-under 67 to take a one-stroke lead after a Joburg Open second round disrupted by thunderstorms on Friday.

Lynn’s 12-under total of 130 gave him the narrowest of advantages over South African Charl Schwartzel (68), the European Tour money-list leader.

Sharing third place on 132 at the Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club were South Africans Jbe Kruger (69) and Hendrik Buhrmann (64), and British pair Darren Clarke (69) and Danny Willett (67).

Lynn made five birdies and one bogey on a soggy East course.

“I knew anything under par around there was a very good score,” the Englishman told reporters. “I got off to a good start with a birdie at the first and that put me in a good frame of mind. I knew I had to put some numbers together on the West course yesterday. That’s the build-your-score course.”

The opening two rounds at the tournament co-sanctioned by the European Tour and the South African Sunshine Tour were played on the East and West courses.

The event now moves exclusively to the East layout for the final two rounds of the tournament.

Schwartzel said: “The East is definitely the more daunting one and you need to hit a lot of good iron shots to give yourself birdie opportunities. I hit some good shots ... There were quite a few flags at the back of greens and they’re very difficult to get to on a wet course.”

Briton John Parry and Andrew Curlewis of South Africa were seven-under with three holes still to play when darkness fell. They needed to complete their rounds yesterday morning.

First-round leader South African Neil Schietekat could only card a 72 for 134.

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