Garrigus escapes Woods in Malaysia


Golf:Robert Garrigus left Tiger Woods trailing five strokes behind after a second successive 64 at the CIMB Classic at The Mines in hot and humid Malaysia today.

The big-hitting American, three times a runner-up on the PGA Tour this season, reached halfway 14 under par and two in front of South African Jbe Kruger as Woods moved up only from seventh to fifth with a 67.

“No disrespect to anybody on the PGA Tour — they’re all great players — but I feel like I can beat anybody in the world,” said 34-year-old Garrigus, currently 43rd in the rankings and with only one career victory to his name.

“I’m going to try to get to 30 (under par) if I can.” He has not forgotten he played 54 holes in 32 under in California in January. After pars on the first six holes he birdied six of the following seven and then made two more before dropping his only shot of the day on the 447-yard last.

Kruger had double-bogeyed that hole in his opening 66, but that gave the world number 181 a first-ever pairing with Woods and it inspired him to a 64.

“I think it definitely made me concentrate a bit harder,” the 26-year-old stated. “That is one thing I’ve been lacking the last couple of months, so I think I want to play with him every day. I can’t hit it much better than I am at the moment.”

Kruger won his first European Tour title in India in February. Woods has had 13 birdies in his first two rounds, but also two bogeys each day. The one on the 475-yard fourth left him with a face full of mud after he played his third from a bank next to the water hazard and he said: “I had a good enough lie that I knew I could get it out and give myself a putt.

“Guys are shooting good scores, a bunch of 65s and lower. You just can’t keep passive; you have to be aggressive.”

First round leader Troy Matteson has still to have a bogey, but only two birdies for a 69 dropped him to joint third on 10 under with Australian left-hander Greg Chalmers. Alongside Woods are fellow American Kevin Na and Zimbabwe’s Brendon de Jonge, while Scot Martin Laird (67) is joint 11th on seven under.

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