Singh copes best in testing conditions

 

Golf:Overnight leader Carl Petterson remained in the lead of the USPGA Championship at Kiawah Island after nine holes of his second round, as many of the challengers struggled in the windy conditions.

The early starters - Graeme McDowell, Pádraig Harrington and Michael Hoey among them – had little joy. Fijian Vijay Singh, at 49 trying to become the oldest winner of a major in history, was one of the exceptions as he carded a 69 to move to four under.

That saw him into second place behind overnight leader Petterson, who was one over through his first nine to drop back to five under.

Tiger Woods reached the turn in 35 to join Singh, but Rory McIlroy was three over through 10 and dropped back from five under overnight to two under, as did Gary Woodland, who the Northern Irishman had for company in pursuit of Petterson after round one.

Swede Alexander Noren was also five under overnight but carded a disastrous 80 to fall way back down to three over and just inside the cut mark. He wasn’t he only one to go backwards as McDowell, Harrington, world number one Luke Donald and Justin Rose discovered.

McDowell had started with a fine 68, but he managed only 39 for the back nine with bogeys at the 13th, 14th and 17th, where he could not get up and down from just over the green. The 2010 US Open champion did birdie the long second and was two under alongside Donaldson, before bogeys at four and seven left him four over for the day on level par.

Harrington, needing a big week to boost his Ryder Cup hopes, let shots go on the 13th and 14th, birdied the next, but then had further bogeys at the third, fourth and eighth to stand two over after a 76.

Michael Hoey bucked the trend after yesterday’s 78 and shot a two under 70 to move to four over, again just inside the projected cut, with Just Rose, who carded a 79.

Donald was in a battle to survive the halfway cut when he set off at two over and instantly double-bogeyed the 447-yard 10th. The world number one did birdie the 16th and 18th, but there was a bogey in between and two more at the seventh, eighth and ninth for a 76 and a short week for the Englishman.

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