When he finished off his round of 66 early Friday afternoon, Retief Goosen was setting the pace at 7 under and eagerly anticipating the final two rounds.
“I don't think I'm going to be too far off the lead by the end of the day, and we'll see what I can do around here on the weekend,” the South African said.
Actually, Goosen’s advantage held up – although Phil Mickelson joined Justin Leonard at 6 under when the lefthander shot 68 in the afternoon. First-round leader Bubba Watson gave up a little ground with his 71 but he’s well within range at 5 under, too, and tied with Peter Hanson and Bo Van Pelt.
“I just didn’t make the putts today,” Watson said. “The greens speeds were a little slower and I couldn’t get used to it. After yesterday being lightning fast and today a little bit slower, probably a foot slower, I just couldn’t get used to it. I never made the putts that I made (Thursday).”
On the opposite end of the spectrum, World No. 1 Tiger Woods and his playing partner Lee Westwood, who is ranked No. 3, struggled again – for different reasons.
Westwood ended up withdrawing after his 76 due to that ruptured muscle in his right calf while Woods couldn’t find fairways again, hitting just three, and shooting a 72 that left him 6 over. Westwood will not play in the PGA Championship, either. – Helen Ross