Rd. 2 notebook: Kruger living a dream playing with Woods

December 04, 2012

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia -- Robert Garrigus shot a 7-under 64 to take a two-stroke lead over South African Jbe' Kruger on Friday at the CIMB Classic. Here are some notes from Round 2:

Robert Garrigus 64-64--128 (-14)

• Garrigus, making his first CIMB Classic start, birdied eight of 11 holes (Nos. 7-17) before a bogey on the 18th hole to finish with his second consecutive 64 and move to 14-under with a two-stroked lead at the CIMB Classic. Garrigus has twice previously held the 36-hole lead on the PGA TOUR, the last time being the 2011 Hyundai Tournament of Champions, where he finished runner-up.

• The 128 36-hole total is the lowest of Garrigus' career. His previous low on the PGA TOUR was 130 at this year's RBC Canadian Open.

• Garrigus has one victory on the PGA TOUR, the 2010 Children's Miracle Network Classic at Walt Disney World. He has six runner-up finishes, including three this season.

• Garrigus lost in a playoff at the FedEx St. Jude Classic in 2010. Before that tournament, Garrigus had eight top-10 finishes in 118 PGA TOUR events. Since that loss, Garrigus has 12 top-10 finishes in 65 events.

• Garrigus is looking to cap off a strong 2012 campaign in which he posted seven top-10 finishes on the PGA TOUR, including a runner-up finish at the Transitions Championship, where he lost in a playoff to Luke Donald, and a T2 at the RBC Canadian Open. Garrigus finished No. 23 in the FedExCup.

"I feel like if I'm putting well, I mean, no disrespect to anybody on the PGA TOUR," Garrigus said. "They're all great players. But I feel like I can beat anybody in the world. I've played with Tiger. I've played with Rory in the TOUR Championship. I hit it just as good as those guys. It's just the short game."

Jbe Kruger (pronounced Jay Bee) 66-64--130 (-12)

• Kruger, paired with Tiger Woods, shot a second-round 7 under to move to 2nd, two off the lead, heading into the weekend at the CIMB Classic. Kruger gained entry into the co-sanctioned event by virtue of his No. 3 position on the Asian Tour Order of Merit. Kruger won the Avantha Masters this year for his first victory on the Asian Tour.

• This is Kruger's second appearance at the CIMB Classic. He finished T28 here last year.

• Kruger's results at other PGA TOUR events include missing the cut at this year's British Open, a T57 at this year's World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship and a T23 at the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions.

• In the event's two-year history, the best finish by a player in the field from the Asian Tour Order of Merit was last year's T5 by Mardan Mamat.

• On being paired with Tiger Woods - "It's the stuff you dream about. But I've been struggling with my concentration. So to play with him just to concentrate, it actually helped me."

Greg Chalmers 66-66--132 (-10)

• Chalmers, the Aussie, enjoys this time of the year. It was November 2011 when Chalmers won the Australian Open and the Australian PGA Championship against stiff competition. Last week, Chalmers finished 10th at the ISPS HANDA Perth International, and now he is in good position through 36 holes of the CIMB Classic after consecutive 66s. Chalmers is tied for third and four strokes behind the lead.

• The last time Chalmers was this high on the leaderboard on the PGA TOUR through 36 holes was the 2009 U.S. Bank Championship in Milwaukee when he led through two rounds.

Troy Matteson 63-69--132 (-10)

• Matteson, the first-round leader, followed his opening bogey-free round with a bogey-free second round 69.

• Matteson, a two-time winner on the PGA TOUR, is competing in the CIMB Classic for the first time in 2012. Winner of the 2006 and 2009 Frys.com Open, Matteson entered the final round of the John Deere Classic with a three-shot lead and battled Zach Johnson shot-for-shot as the pair finished regulation tied at 20-under 264. Johnson went on to win the sudden-death playoff on the second hole with a birdie 3. In addition to the runner-up finish at the John Deere Classic, Matteson also finished T10 at the RBC Canadian Open and the Wyndham Championship.

Trevor Immelman 72-63--135 (-7)

• Immelman shot his best round of the year and his second-best round ever in a PGA TOUR-sanctioned event. Immelman shot 62 in the third round of the 2011 McGladery Classic. The 2008 Masters Champion has never shot 63 on TOUR, with his next-best score of 64 happening four previous times in his career.

• Immelman, in the field via a sponsor's exemption, has struggled in 2012, missing eight cuts. His best finish of the season, T12, came at the Waste Management Phoenix Open.

• Immelman's bogey-free round on Friday included four birdies on both the front and back nines.

"I'm in great shape," Immelman said. "My wrist is all healed up. Everything, no injuries, everything is good. So I'm hoping to start shooting a few more rounds like this. Getting some momentum, getting some confidence, and hopefully come out next year and play like I know I can play."

Miscellaneous Notes

• Woods, in his first CIMB Classic appearance, followed his opening-round 66 with a 67 on Friday to move to 9-under-par heading into the weekend. Woods is five strokes back of the lead.

• Danny Chia, one of the two Malaysian qualifiers, shot a disappointing 4-over 75, which included three double-bogeys. Chia played well in round one with a bogey-free 66. Chia finished T13 in the 2011 CIMB Classic.

• Defending champion Bo Van Pelt followed his opening-round 70 with a 6-under 65. A year ago, Van Pelt won the inaugural CIMB Classic with rounds of 66-64-67-64. Van Pelt won last week at the ISPS HANDA Perth International.

• Ben Crane, winner of the inaugural CIMB Classic, shot 66-67 and is 8-under, T8.

• Thirty-eight players (out of 48) posted sub-par rounds Friday.

Bogey-free rounds

• R1 -- Matteson (63); Jeff Overton (64); Chia (66); Kevin Na (67); Kevin Stadler (67).

• R2 -- Chalmers (66); Matteson (69); Brendon De Jonge (65); Immelman (63); Anirban Lahiri (66).