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Lee Westwood two shots off the lead at Houston Open

-9 B Molder (US) -8 C Percy (Aus), A Prugh (US) -7 J Ogilvie (US), L Westwood (Eng), A Kim (US), K Stadler (US) -6 P Harrington (Ire) Selected others:-4 M Laird (Sco) -2 J Rose (Eng) level E Els (RSA) +1 P Mickelson (US) +3 R McIlroy (NI), B Davis (Eng), C Wood (Eng)

Lee Westwood
Westwood last won on the US Tour in 1998

Lee Westwood shot a second-round 68 to lie two strokes behind American leader Bryce Molder at the Houston Open.

Englishman Westwood sank seven birdies and three bogeys for a seven-under total - tied for third alongside Joe Ogilvie, Anthony Kim and Kevin Stadler.

"When I did hit greens, I hit it close, and I'm pleased with my position," said Westwood, who will rise to number two in the world with victory in Humble.

Padraig Harrington is three shots off the lead after a three-under 69.

The Irishman might have joined Australian Cameron Percy and American Alex Prugh, who lie second on eight under, but for a double-bogey on the last.

American Lucas Glover's 68 included the first hole-in-one in the course's five-year tour history. Glover used a six-iron on the 199-yard 16th hole which helped him to a three-under overall score.

Glover's compatriot Molder had followed up his first-round 69 with a bogey-free 66 that included six birdies - four of those on the last seven holes.

I played over-confident, tried to play a couple of secret shots

Lee Westwood

The 31-year-old has never won on the PGA tour but victory at the Redstone Golf Club would secure an invite to next week's Masters in Augusta.

"If you tell me not to think about next week, or I'm trying to tell myself, well I'm still thinking about next week,"he said.

"Put me on top of a building and tell me not to be scared, I'm still going to be scared."

Stadler, who had shared the overnight lead with Percy, carded a 70 to finish the day among the chasing pack alongside Harrington on seven under.

Scotland's Martin Laird reached the halfway stage five off leader Molder following his second successive 70, with Justin Rose seven behind in the final event before The Masters next week.

Organisers have tried to simulate Augusta National conditions, and European number one Westwood was reasonably content with how he coped with the fast greens, light rough, shaved-down run-off areas and fairways mowed toward the trees.

"It was a bit breezier than I thought it was going to be this morning," Westwood said. "The wind got up a little earlier, and at times out there I was a bit undisciplined.


"I went for a couple of flags I shouldn't have gone for. I played over-confident, tried to play a couple of secret shots. I should have just aimed 30 feet left or right of the hole. All in all it was pretty good.

"I could have made two hole-in-ones in the last three holes - on seven, to about 18 inches, must have lipped out, and nine, grazed the hole as well. It was a solid-ish day. Probably 13 greens in there in regulation."

England's Simon Dyson carded a 71 to finish on level par alongside the in-form Ernie Els, but Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy (73) and English duo Brian Davis (71) and Chris Wood (75) all missed the cut by a stroke, while compatriot Luke Donald (75) also fell short.

World number three Phil Mickelson endured a forgettable day after finishing with 76 - including a triple bogey at the 10th.

He was penalised a stroke when the ball rebounded off his leg after pulling his drive into a bush, before opting to take a further one-stroke penalty so he could drop clear of the interference.

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see also
McIlroy misses Houston Open cut
03 Apr 10 |  Golf
Westwood & Harrington start well
02 Apr 10 |  Golf
McIlroy struggles in Houston Open
02 Apr 10 |  Golf
Injured Casey faces Masters race
01 Apr 10 |  Golf
Els hangs on for Bay Hill victory
29 Mar 10 |  Golf
Oosthuizen seals maiden Tour win
28 Mar 10 |  Golf
Casey forced to quit in Shanghai
08 Nov 09 |  Golf
Casey clinches maiden PGA victory
05 Apr 09 |  Golf

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