Glover takes control
US Open champion Lucas Glover has taken charge of the season-opening SBS Championship in Hawaii.
US Open champion Lucas Glover took charge of the season-opening SBS Championship in Hawaii as Scotland’s Martin Laird stayed in touch with a back-nine charge.
Glover had held a one-stroke lead over the 28-man field of 2009 PGA Tour tournament winners after an opening-round, seven-under-par 66 at the Kapalua Resort Plantation Course on Maui and he followed up with a second-round 65 to take a three-shot lead at halfway.
The American’s opening round had begun with a double bogey on the par-73 layout and Glover once again began slowly on Friday, bogeying the par-three second before bouncing back in style in calm conditions on the Pacific Ocean coast.
Three birdies in a row between the fifth and seventh were followed by a second eagle in a row at the par-five ninth as Glover went out in 32.
Further birdies came on four of the par-four holes at the 10th, 13th, 14th and 16th to leave Glover at 15 under par in the no-cut tournament.
That left him three ahead of fellow American John Rollins, who shot a 66 and four in front of a four-man group containing defending champion Geoff Ogilvy of Australia (66), Americans Sean O’Hair (67) and Matt Kuchar (68) and Glaswegian Laird who followed his opening 67 with a bogey-free, five-under 68.
The Scot went out in 34 but moved back into contention with a hat-trick of birdies between 13 and 15.
“It was another good day today,” Laird said. “The bogey on four yesterday was a three putt and what it probably did was wake me up to how much attention you’ve got to pay to 30-footers out here. There’s never an easy one.
“But I did the same as I did yesterday, I drove it great again and gave myself lots of looks. I didn’t putt as well today, that was the only thing, but I probably hit it better.”
Laird was grateful for the calmer conditions as the wind of the Pacific laid down for the day at Kapalua.
“It’s probably as easy as you’ll see this golf course,” the Scot said. “The par-fives were all reachable and the holes that normally play tough into the wind weren’t too hard today so it was definitely a day where you had to go and make a lot of birdies.”
After an opening 70, England’s Paul Casey finished with a flourish for a second-round 69 to finish the day at seven under par in a tie for 15th.
The world number seven, who was hampered with a rib injury from August onwards last year, nailed his 269-yard approach to the 18th to inside four feet and holed out from there for eagle at the par-five.
US PGA champion Y E Yang not so lucky at the final hole, taking a triple-bogey eight to finish with a 74, the only over-par round of the day, to slip to two under at halfway.
WATCH: Social media star pays tribute to Mickelson with special US Open song
Take a listen to the most heartfelt and emotional song about Phil Mickelson ever created.
All eyes on USGA when the 120th US Open gets under way at Winged Foot
The fact that last year’s championship took place without controversy over the set up of the course was a welcome relief for the organisation.
Tiger Woods ranks Winged Foot as one of the most difficult courses ever
Tiger Woods is under no illusions as to the challenges facing the field when the US Open tees off at Winged Foot on Thursday.
On This Day in 2004: US power couple Phil and Tiger tamed by Europe at Ryder Cup
Woods and Mickelson were ranked second and fourth in the world respectively but Montgomerie and Harrington bested them.
Rory McIlroy out to end major drought – with help from the ‘Nappy Factor’
McIlroy’s wife Erica gave birth to the couple’s first child, Poppy Kennedy McIlroy, two weeks ago.
I wasn’t ready – Tiger Woods reflects on 2006 US Open on return to Winged Foot
Woods missed the cut at the 2006 tournament as he returned to competitive golf following the death of his father.
Collin Morikawa ready for US Open challenge at ‘amazing’ Winged Foot
The recently-crowned US PGA Championship winner heaped praise on the course layout in Mamaroneck, New York.
‘US Open is the ultimate test’ – golf great Tony Jacklin recalls days of glory
The 75-year-old won the championship, his second major triumph, at Hazeltine half a century ago.
WATCH: Cink celebrates emotional victory with wife and caddie son
Safeway Open champion Stewart Cink admits he was overcome with gratitude during Sunday’s final round.