Furyk leads, Louis three back

2012-08-04 08:01

Akron, Ohio - Jim Furyk fired a four-under 66 to maintain his two-shot lead at the halfway stage of the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational on Friday while Tiger Woods is off to his worst start in four months.

Furyk reached 11-under 129 and has a two-shot lead over Spain's Rafael Cabrera-Bello, who shot a five-under 65 on Friday at the Firestone Country Club course.

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

Cabrera-Bello is alone at nine-under 131. South Africa's former British Open champ Louis Oosthuizen also had a 65 in round two and is alone in third at eight under.

Jason Dufner shot a four-under 66, good for fourth at seven under par.

Seven-time winner Woods had a difficult day. He shot a two-over 72 and is tied for 44th, 13 shots back of Furyk.

Woods has had good success at this event for most of his career but has stumbled on this course the last two times he played here and needs to get his putting turned around to avoid another dismal score at Firestone.

His two-over 142 is his highest 36-hole score to par since his three-over 145 start at the Masters.

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

Furyk, who opened with a 63 on Thursday, not only had his putter going but he saved par from the bunker four times on the back nine.

He had a nice birdie putt on the second hole and poured in a 20-foot birdie putt on the ninth.

"Making birdie at nine was like stealing one," said Furyk, who has not won since his 2010 Tour Championship victory.

"It'll be nice to relax a little bit this afternoon and maybe check out the weather forecast later on and kind of check out the weekend.

"I think the wind is supposed to pick up a little bit. If it gets breezy, the wind picks up, and the greens get faster, this place will show a little bit more teeth than we've seen so far."

Woods three-putted on the 18th hole for a 70 in his first round.

On Friday, it was the seventh hole that gave him the most trouble as he hit his tee shot to inside five feet but then three-putted from there for a bogey.

"I hit it good, made nothing," Woods said.

Phil Mickelson shot a 69 and is 11 strokes behind after a change in putters helped pick up his game.

"I'm piecing it together," Mickelson said.

Leading second-round scores on Friday in the $8.5m WGC-Bridgestone Invitational (USA unless noted, par-70):

129 - Jim Furyk 63-66
131 - Rafael Cabrera-Bello (ESP) 66-65
132 - Louis Oosthuizen (RSA) 67-65
133 - Jason Dufner 67-66
134 - K.T. Kim (KOR) 67-67
135 - Luke Donald (ENG) 66-69, David Toms 68-67
136 - Keegan Bradley 67-69, John Senden (AUS) 66-70, Lee Slattery (ENG) 65-71, Steve Stricker 68-68
137 - Simon Dyson (ENG) 66-71, Dustin Johnson 69-68, Graeme McDowell (NIR) 70-67, Rory McIlroy (NIR) 70-67, Geoff Ogilvy (AUS) 67-70, Carl Pettersson (SWE) 67-70
138 - Sang-Moon Bae (KOR) 72-66, Bill Haas 67-71
139 - Aaron Baddeley (AUS) 73-66, Sergio Garcia (ESP) 67-72, Retief Goosen (RSA) 67-72, Scott Piercy 69-70, Justin Rose (ENG) 70-69, Bo Van Pelt 70-69, Nick Watney 69-70, Bubba Watson 66-73