Green Maintains Lead Norman Rebounds

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SYDNEY, Australia -- Nathan Green shot a 1-under-par 71 Friday to maintain a two-shot lead after the second round of the Australian Open at Royal Sydney.
 
Gusty winds continued to play havoc with the scores Friday after high winds, cold temperatures and heavy rain did the same during the opening round. Only six golfers had sub-par rounds Thursday, and only four remained under par after two rounds. The cut was made at 8-over 152.
 
Green had a two-round total of 6-under 138, and was followed by Richard Green -- no relation -- after a 71 Friday.
 
Stuart Appleby was at 1-under after a 68, the best round of the day. He was tied for third with fellow Australian Gavin Coles (70). Adam Scott (70) was tied with six others at 144, six shots back.
 
Defending champion Robert Allenby, who won the Australian Open, Australian Masters and Australian PGA on consecutive weekends last year to become the first golfer to win Australia's Triple Crown, shot a 74 after his opening 77 and narrowly made the cut 7 over.
 
Greg Norman shot 73, including a 30-foot birdie putt on his last hole, and was right on the cut line at 152, qualifying him for the weekend.
 
Norman said he knew his putt on 18 Friday was in from the moment he hit it.
 
'It was the first time I made a putt in two days,' Norman said.
 
He said he had no idea he had made the cut until after he had signed his card.
 
'Really? That shocks me,' Norman said. 'I would never have expected that. It just goes to show you just don't stop trying.'
 
Nathan Green contended in a number of PGA TOUR events in his rookie season this year, losing a playoff to Tiger Woods at the Buick Invitational in January.
 
'I would just like to win a tournament somewhere,' Green said. 'I've struggled to finish off tournaments in the past. That's one thing I have to learn, how to win.'
 
Appleby, one of the morning starters Friday, said he was pleased with the 'markedly less stressful' conditions at Royal Sydney. He double-bogeyed the easy opening hole Thursday, but had a better start -- and round -- on Friday.
 
'I didn't want to go home, but I thought this better not be the trend,' Appleby said of his six on the drivable 274-meter par-4 first on Thursday.
 
'That was one of the easier holes for the tournament and there I was walking off with a six about to play the next hour straight into the wind.'
 
Scott was still struggling with the windy conditions despite shooting five birdies Friday.
 
'It's a little hard to tell, but I know I'm not on,' he said. 'I think that might just be from battling around in the wind so much and shoving the ball back in your stance. It's hard to hit a normal shot out there.'
 
Allenby said he has been troubled by swing problems, so much so that hit 'very few' shots out of the center of his clubs Friday.
 
'I really don't know what is going on,' Allenby said. 'I'm definitely not looking good for winning the tournament. I'm struggling with my swing. I have no clue where I am hitting it.'
 
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