Furyk maintains Firestone lead, Woods struggles

Rock-steady Jim Furyk maintained both momentum and a two-shot lead in the second round of the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational while seven-times champion Tiger Woods again struggled with his putting.

Eurosport

Furyk, who opened with a dazzling seven-under-par 63 in the elite World Golf Championships (WGC) event, followed up with a five-birdie 66 on another steamy day at Firestone Country Club.

The veteran American scrambled superbly to cover his back nine in a flawless two-under 33, posting an 11-under total of 129 to finish two strokes in front of Spaniard Rafael Cabrera Bello, who fired a 65.

South African Louis Oosthuizen, the 2010 Open champion, was at eight under, also after a 65, with laid-back American Jason Dufner a further stroke back after returning a 66.

Woods, who had totalled 33 putts on the slick Firestone greens in the opening round, mixed four bogeys with two birdies for a 72 to end the day a distant 13 strokes off the pace.

Furyk, who clinched the most recent of his 16 US PGA Tour victories at the 2010 season-ending Tour Championship, was delighted to retain control of the tournament after starting the day two ahead of the chasing pack.

"At times you go out there and fire a low score one day and it's hard to follow it up the next and keep that momentum going," the smiling 42-year-old said.

"So I was able to kind of keep that momentum. I knocked in a couple of good putts today and made some great saves actually, some good par saves, to keep the round going."

Furyk saved par four times from bunkers on his back nine before ending the day with his lowest 36-hole score on the US PGA Tour.

"I thought it was key to get off to a nice start and see some putts go in," he said. "I made a good birdie putt at two and saw some birdies go in on the front nine, good putt at nine, and kind of off to the races.

"The back nine was a little bit more making some good saves. I slipped a couple of birdies in there along the way, as well. Good round."

While Furyk was in an upbeat mood, Woods was a frustrated figure after needing 29 putts in the second round.

"I hit it good, made nothing (on the greens)," the 14-times Major winner said. "I figured something out finally on the 17th hole, but too little, too late.

"I get in these little spells where it's hot or cold. Generally I was a decent putter over the years, but lately it's been very streaky, I'm making everything or I make nothing."

Woods, who has triumphed a season-high three times on the 2012 US PGA Tour, explained that his putting woes stemmed from the wayward path of his putter.

"I had my lines good, but it's just setting my path out," he said. "I was trying to marry the two. I was trying to figure it out last night on the putting green.

"Yesterday was bad putts. Today I had good speed and just still not quite right. And the putts I did (hit) pure, they were just lipping out. So that's fine."

British world number one Luke Donald, struggling on the greens in the late afternoon, carded a 69 to end the day six strokes behind Furyk while defending champion Adam Scott of Australia posted a 70 for a one-over total.

Former US Open winners Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell, both of Northern Ireland, fired matching 67s to sit eight shots off the pace but Open champion Ernie Els returned a second successive 73 to languish joint 62nd in the 77-man field.

"I played solid today," said the mop-haired McIlroy, who romped to victory by a staggering eight shots at the 2011 US Open. "I (double-bogeyed) the first, but apart from that, it was pretty good.

"Making six birdies, it was nice. I'm just trying to keep improving on my score. If I can get lower for the next two days, I won't be far off."

View comments (0)
  • Bell steers England to victory, hosts take 2-1 Ashes lead

    Bell steers England to victory, hosts take 2-1 Ashes lead

    Ian Bell guided England to an eight-wicket victory over Australia in the third test at Edgbaston on Friday to put the hosts 2-1 up in the series with two matches to play. Bell (65 not out) and Joe Root, with an unbeaten 38, anchored the chase after England were set to 121 to win on the third day at Edgbaston where a dominant performance banished memories of a heavy defeat at Lord's. England lost Alastair Cook (7) and Adam Lyth (12) to set a few nerves on edge but Bell, dropped on 20 by Australia captain Michael Clarke, made his second 50 of the match to spark raucous celebrations after Root hit the winning runs. More »

    Reuters - 5 hours ago
  • Lambert leaves Liverpool to join West Brom

    Lambert leaves Liverpool to join West Brom

    Liverpool offload Rickie Lambert after just one unproductive season at Anfield More »

    Reuters - 3 hours ago
  • Serie A - Confusion as Stevan Jovetic joins Inter

    Serie A - Confusion as Stevan Jovetic joins Inter

    Inter Milan have signed Stevan Jovetic from Manchester City, although there were conflicting reports as to whether it was a loan or permanent switch. More »

    Eurosport - 5 hours ago
  • Can we ever trust Fifa again? Football writer Jonathan Wilson and Copa90's Eli Mengem investigate

    Can we ever trust Fifa again? Football writer Jonathan Wilson and Copa90's Eli Mengem investigate

    Can we ever trust Fifa again? Who replaces Sepp Blatter? These key questions and more are answered on this week's episode of The Rail, as Spencer is joined by football writer Jonathan Wilson and Copa90's Eli Mengem. More »

    Copa90 - 5 hours ago
  • No snow no problem as China's financial might lands 2022 Games

    No snow no problem as China's financial might lands 2022 Games

    The snow will be fake, but the very real financial muscle China boasts proved decisive on Friday when Beijing won the right to host the 2022 Winter Olympics. Games officials meeting in Kuala Lumpur voted for the Chinese capital over the lure of a winter wonderland offering from Kazakhstan's Almaty, in a clear sign that the International Olympic Committee is craving solidity and security after a series of problems and headaches. While Rio scrambles to make up lost time in its building for the 2016 Olympics, and Tokyo is embroiled in a stadium drama the allure of a megacity with a cast-iron financial guarantee proved irresistible. More »

    Reuters - 6 hours ago