Vijay, Poults are men with a mission
Vijay Singh and Ian Poulter were men with a mission when they teed off early today in the US PGA Championship .
Vijay Singh and Ian Poulter were attempting to stop the US PGA Championship becoming a shoot-out between Tiger Woods and Padraig Harrington as the second round got under way at Hazeltine National Golf Club.
Woods held a one-shot overnight lead over playing partner and defending champion Harrington, having shot a five-under-par 67 for his opening round at the 7,674-yard Minnesota course.
Two-time winner Singh was a further stroke behind at three under in a group tied for third, and Poulter started at level par.
With the front-runners not due out until 7.45pm BST, Fijian Singh had a chance to at least close the gap with conditions favouring the earlier starters.
Winds of 25 miles per hour and higher were forecast to hit the longest course in major championship history later in the day.
Singh, who has missed three cuts in a row at the US PGA having won it in 1998 and 2004, got off to an ideal start with a birdie at the par-four 10th to draw level with Harrington.
He then bogeyed his third hole of the day before bouncing back with another birdie at his ninth, the 475-yard uphill par-four 18th, to return to four under.
England’s Poulter had threatened a low score last night before missing a great chance on 16 with a mis-read birdie putt and then bogeying the final two holes for an even-par 72.
He was making amends today, however, three under after seven holes playing from the 10th tee, the Ryder Cup player registering birdies on the par fours at the 12th, 14th and 16th holes.
US Open champion Lucas Glover, also playing the back nine first, joined the group at three under, thanks to birdies at the 14th and par-five 15th, the longest hole on the course at 642 yards.
World number eight Geoff Ogilvy moved to two under, one under for the day, after eight, while 2001 champion David Toms dropped a shot at his fourth hole of the day and was two under after five.
Masters champion Angel Cabrera, playing in the same group as recent major winners Glover and Stewart Cink, sank four birdies in his first six holes from the 10th to get to level par, while Open winner Cink also improved to even par with a birdie at the 13th, one of the holes his Argentinian playing partner parred.
England’s Luke Donald dropped a shot at his first hole, the 10th, and was level par for the tournament after four holes.
At two over par after five holes, world number two Phil Mickelson was just the right side of the projected cut line, while England’s Oliver Wilson and Brian Davis were outside the low 70 players and ties at three over as they played their opening nine holes.
Scotland’s Alastair Forsyth fell to three over after six holes after bogeys at the second and sixth holes, while compatriot and European 2010 Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie was three over for the day, six over for the tournament having made the turn.
Darren Clarke was also facing an early exit from Hazeltine National, the Northern Irishman four over for the day and 10 over for the week having completed his first nine in 40.
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