Rose Weir in Pursuit of Goggin

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2007 The Memorial TournamentDUBLIN, Ohio -- Mathew Goggin might have to change his travel plans.
 
The Aussie arranged a 5:50 p.m. flight to Memphis on Sunday so he could get a good nights sleep before playing in a U.S. Open sectional qualifier on Monday. But his departure would be at about the same time Jack Nicklaus will be presenting a check for $1,080,000 and a crystal trophy to the winner of the Memorial Tournament.
 
I might not want to get on that, Goggin cracked.
 
In an up-and-down round, Goggin followed his first-round 65 with an even-par 72 to share the lead with Kenny Perry through Fridays second round at Muirfield Village.
 
The next flight is at, like, 7 oclock, said Goggin, who is at 7-under 137. So Ill just see. Its one of those sort of things that if you miss the flight, its a good thing.
 
Perry, who shot a 71, is trying to join Tiger Woods as the only players to win the Memorial three times. His wins came in 1991 and 2003. If he wins again, hell be the oldest Memorial winner at the age of 48.
 
Perry and Goggin both persevered despite gusting winds that added to the treachery of the course, already made dangerous by thick rough and greens that are so fast that golf balls roll like a marble on granite.
 
It was brutal out there, said Perry, who had waltzed through an opening-round 66 to tie Jerry Kelly a shot back of Goggin. You put slick conditions with 15 or 20 mph winds, its hard to pick a club. And then its hard to stop the ball from the wind just moving it all the time. On the greens, too.
 
Phil Mickelson, a winner last week at Colonial, struggled to a 75 that put him at 147, then said you had to be part mathematician and part meteorologist to figure out where shots would end up.
 
The tough thing was putting and chipping because it was a 10 percent effect, he said. So if you had a 50-footer, the wind would blow it five feet (off line). That was the biggest challenge.
 
There were plenty of high scores. Billy Andrade opened with a 72 but came back with an 85. Bubba Watson went from 72 to 84. So did Mark Calcavecchia. All missed the cut of 6-over 150, the highest at the tournament since 1990.
 
Yet many of the highest-profile disasters came within the rounds of the leaders.
 
Goggin started out as if he would run away and hide. He birdied four of the first five holes to open a four-stroke lead on Kelly, who was playing in the same group. After parring two holes'he only had five pars in the round'he would go on to post a double bogey, five bogeys and three birdies the rest of the way.
 
I had seven birdies today, he said. The five bogeys and a double, well, that was probably a negative.
 
Goggin blamed his inexperience at the course for some of his mistakes. The rest was the wind.
 
Perry used a word you dont often hear to describe the effects of wind.
 
You would be down there (ready to putt) and the ball would be sitting there oscillating, he said. And that will unnerve you a little bit.
 
He hasnt been unnerved much. After needing just 22 putts in the first round, despite all that oscillation he used only 26 in the second round.
 
The Memorial has a reputation for being disrupted by rainstorms but so far this week the skies have been clear and the weather temperate. That is supposed to change overnight with a storm front dropping at least an inch of rain on the course.
 
That wasnt good news for Kelly, not a big hitter off the tee. If the fairways end up saturated, he guessed hed be hitting long irons into most of the par-4 holes, putting him at a distinct disadvantage.
 
If it stayed like this the rest of the week it would be a heck of a weekend, said Kelly, who had a 72. It would be a shame to get too much water. Hopefully we dont, because we all like to see it play tough and fast and have the ball bouncing.
 
Luke Donald shot a 71 and was alone in fourth at 139, followed by Nick OHern, Matt Kuchar, Steve Lowry and Geoff Ogilvy at 140.
 
One ugly incident occurred while Mickelson and Sergio Garcia were walking up the 15th fairway.
 
A fan yelled, America hates you, Sergio.
 
First, Mickelsons caddie, Jim Mackay, came over to berate the fan, then Mickelson stared at the guy and said, Cmon, man, while shaking his head.
 
Garcia remained stoic through the whole episode.
 

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