Sun, Feb 28, 2010 - Page 18 News List

Wilson shoots 66 to seize share of lead with Villegas

AFP , PHOENIX, ARIZONA

Mark Wilson seized a share of the lead at the US$6 million Phoenix Open on Friday, alongside overnight leader Camilo Villegas of Colombia.

Wilson birdied the last four holes en route to a five-under 66, while Villegas cooled off with a 69 as they shared the lead on 11-under 131.

Villegas closed with a bogey at 18, where he missed a 14-footer for par.

They were one stroke in front of a trio of players — Anthony Kim, Ryan Moore and Rickie Fowler.

Kim carded a 65, Moore a 66 and Fowler a 67 for 132.

Veteran Tom Lehman, nine days away from his 51st birthday, carded a 67 to head a group of six players on nine-under 133 that also included Australia’s Mathew Goggin (67) and Spain’s Alvaro Quiros (66).

Matt Every was still on the course when play was halted by darkness and was facing a three-foot birdie putt that would see him move to nine-under.

Villegas, who had an eagle, three birdies and three bogeys, said he was happy with the effort in the wake of his opening 62.

“It’s tough to shoot nine-under in one day. To do it two days in a row, it’s even harder obviously,” Villegas said.

Wilson said the desert course lent itself to the kind of birdie runs he delivered.

“I made a lot of putts, so if you’re seeing the lines good, you can roll off a string of birdies pretty quick,” Wilson said.

After completing his 62 without a bogey on Thursday, Villegas was one-over for the day after the turn, but a birdie at 10 and an eagle at 13 regained the lead. He got to 12-under with a birdie at 15, before running into trouble at 18.

His tee shot cleared the lake, but landed in a large bunker. He blasted out onto the fairway and his third shot left him 14 feet for par.

England’s Ian Poulter, winner of last week’s WGC Match Play Championship, gained ground with a 63. He admitted he was so tired after last week’s victory that he was prepared for missing the cut.

“I even booked a plane for takeoff at three this afternoon,” Poulter said.

Phil Mickelson was within striking distance at six-under.

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