Glover leads in New York
Lucas Glover lead the field in the second round of the 109th US Open at Bethpage as darkness brought play to a close.
A marathon second day at the 109th US Open at Bethpage was finally brought to a close by darkness with American Lucas Glover leading the field on six-under-par.
With all but three hours of play washed out on Thursday, organisers worked hard to squeeze in as much action as possible, although with half the field still to start their second rounds there will be another early start on Saturday.
Certainly the fine conditions in New York on Friday aided those players in the second half of the draw who avoided the treacherous conditions on Thursday and were able to make use of a receptive Black course at Bethpage.
With the heavy rain having softened up the greens there were plenty of birdies for the taking and a number of players took advantage.
None more so than Glover who, after posting a first round of 69, picked up a further five shots through 13 holes of his second to finish the day at the top of the leaderboard.
Glover stands one clear of compatriot and 2002 US amateur champion Ricky Barnes and two-clear of long-time leader Mike Weir who claimed the clubhouse lead after the first round with a sparkling 64 – just one shy of Woody Austin’s all-time low US Open round of 63.
Weir is joined on four-under by 2004 Open champion Todd Hamilton and leading European contender Peter Hanson of Sweden who stood second after the completion of the first round following a 66.
Adam Scott, Ross Fisher, Sean O’Hair, Soren Hansen and Japan’s Azuma Yano are locked in a tie for sixth on two-under, while world number two Phil Mickelson heads up a group of five players on one-under.
Only 15 players ended up under-par and of them all but two came from the second half of the draw, with Drew Weaver and Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell the two bucking the trend after signing for 69s earlier in the day.
But both men will now be amongst the later starters on Saturday and have now missed what could prove to be the best of the conditions the week.
Certainly the luck of the draw worked against a number of the big names with Tiger Woods carding a 74 following a scruffy finish, before spending the rest of his day watching on.
It was a similar story for Padraig Harrington (76), Paul Casey (75) and Luke Donald (74) who all returned to limit the damage of their poor starts from Thursday.
But Ian Poulter, who came off at level-par through seven holes on Thursday, maintained his fine form to record a level-par opening round of 70.
Woods will now have to make history if he is to win, no player has come from ten shots back after the first round to win the US Open and the world number one remains ten back of Glover at present.
He didn’t help his own cause as, having hauled himself back to level-par with birdies at 11 and 14, he produced a double-bogey at 15 before dropping further shots at 16 and 18.
For his part Weir could have bettered his opening 66 but for a costly double-bogey at the sixth, although he responded well with further birdies at eight and nine to close out his first round.
The Canadian left-hander looked likely to return as leader on Saturday before bogeys at five and nine in his second round dropped him back.
Glover took full advantage with birdies at ten, 13, 18, one and then three moving him clear of the field.
Barnes maintained the momentum of the strong finish to his first round with birdies at 11 and 16 in his second to close five-under with nine holes still to play.
Mickelson threatened to challenge the first-round leaders as he moved to three-under, but bogeys at six and seven ensured he had to settle for an opening 69.
A double-bogey at the second hole of his second round following an errant drive then threatened to take the wind out of his sails completely, but he responded in superb style with three birdies in four holes to reignite his challenge – much to the delight of the raucous New York galleries.
Playing alongside Scott, Sergio Garcia looked to have played himself right into contention at one-under-par through eight holes of his second round.
However, the Spaniard contrived to three-putt from inside four feet at the 18th to finish the day at +1 where he is joined by Rory McIlroy, 12 holes through his second round, who fought back well after finding himself +4 at one point during his first.
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