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Page last updated at 19:56 GMT, Saturday, 20 June 2009 20:56 UK

Barnes grabs US Open halfway lead

(US unless stated)
-8 R Barnes -7 L Glover -6 M Weir (Can) -3 A Yano (Jpn), D Duval, S Hansen (Den) -2 L Westwood (Eng), N Taylor (Can, am), S O'Hair, R Fisher (Eng), T Hamilton Selected others:-1 P Mickelson Level S Garcia (Spa), O Wilson (Eng) +1 G McDowell (NI) +2 R McIlroy (NI) +3 T Woods +4 I Poulter (Eng) +10 P Casey (Eng) +12 P Harrington (Ire)

By Rob Hodgetts

Ricky Barnes
PGA Tour rookie Barnes won the US Amateur in 2002

American Ricky Barnes edged into a one-shot lead after two rounds of the rain-hit US Open at Bethpage on Saturday.

Barnes resumed his delayed second round at five under after nine holes and ended with 65 for eight under, one clear of overnight leader Lucas Glover.

First-round leader Mike Weir was six under with former world number one David Duval among those three under.

Lee Westwood (66) ended two under, Tiger Woods (69) was three over but Padraig Harrington missed the cut.

Woods will have to equal Lou Graham's 1975 record for the biggest 36-hole comeback in US Open history if he is defend his title and win a 15th major on Long Island this week.

After completing his first-round 74 on Friday morning following Thursday's virtual washout, Woods was on the cut mark of four over after eight holes of his second round.

But two birdies around the turn and another birdie alongside two bogeys coming home ensured his campaign was still on track.

"I might have to shoot some better rounds," said Woods. "The course can be had. It's soft, you can be aggressive and you have to go after flags.


Woods's half of the 156-man field were severely hampered by Thursday's torrential rain which only allowed three hours' play, while the other half of the draw enjoyed pleasant conditions on Friday in which to complete almost 36 holes.

Glover led at six under after 13 holes of his second round when play was halted for the night on Friday, but despite equalling Weir's opening 64, the American found himself one behind PGA Tour rookie Barnes.

Barnes, the 2002 US Amateur champion, made three birdies in his closing nine holes to set a new US Open 36-hole scoring record of 132.

The previous mark was 133, set by Jim Furyk and Vijay Singh at Olympia Fields in 2003.

"It's pretty cool," said the 28-year-old Barnes. "At the beginning of the week you didn't think that score was out there.

"With some tees moved up and the soft greens helped it out. And my ball-striking was the most probably impressive part of the first 36 holes. I just got 31 of 36 greens. Pretty stress-free, I think one bogey.

"But also if you would have told me I would have been eight under and only a one-shot lead, I would have said, 'You're kidding me'."

I've got a good feeling for the way I'm swinging it and I've done a lot of work on my short game so I'm in a pretty confident mood

Lee Westwood

In addition to the top three, Japan's Azuma Yano shot a 65 to get to three under alongside 2001 Open champion Duval, who added a 70 to his opening 67, and Peter Hanson of Sweden, who finished with a 71.

England's Westwood, who missed the play-off by one shot last year, was the highest-placed of those beginning their second rounds on Saturday, helped by three birdies in his opening three holes and three more inside his last five holes.

"You can only play in the conditions you're given," he said. "Two over was a good score from my side of the draw. I'm delighted with 66 and it probably got me back in the tournament.


"That's the good thing about a redraw. I'm going to be in the same weather as everyone else now.

"I've got a good feeling for the way I'm swinging it and I've done a lot of work on my short game so I'm in a pretty confident mood."

England's Ross Fisher shot a two-under 68 to also take a share of seventh place at two under, alongside Canadian amateur Nick Taylor (65), 2004 Open champion Todd Hamilton (71) and Sean O'Hair (69).

"I am coming here with the firm belief that I can win the tournament," Fisher said. "I feel ready to win a major."

World number two Phil Mickelson maintained his challenge on the resumption and completed a level-par 70 to stay one under.

Another Englishman Oliver Wilson ended level par alongside Spain's Sergio Garcia, while Northern Ireland's Graeme McDowell finished one over and Rory countryman McIlroy was two over.

England's Ian Poulter made the cut on the mark at four over but Luke Donald (+5), Justin Rose (+8), Darren Clarke and world number three Paul Casey (both +10), Harrington (+12) and South Africa's Els (+15) will all miss the final two rounds.

Harrington, the reigning USPGA and Open champion, dropped six shots on his back nine, including four strokes in his last three holes.

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see also
US Open photos
20 Jun 09 |  Golf
Woods targeting record comeback
20 Jun 09 |  Golf
Harrington rues miserable US Open
20 Jun 09 |  Golf
US Open day three as it happened
20 Jun 09 |  Golf
Weir sets early pace in US Open
19 Jun 09 |  Golf
Play called off at sodden US Open
19 Jun 09 |  Golf

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