Badds Good Enough for Sony Lead


HONOLULU -- Retief Goosen maintained his spot atop the leaderboard Friday at the Sony Open but was joined by Aaron Baddeley as the two share the lead after two rounds at Waialae Country Club. The duo stands at 10-under-par 130 and owns a one-shot lead over three players.
Ernie Els, who posted the PGA Tour's lowest score in relation to par last week at the Mercedes Championships, shot a 65 on Friday and shares third place with Chris DiMarco (66) and Peter Lonard (65). The group is one shot back at 9-under-par 131.
Goosen, who won the 2001 U.S. Open at Southern Hills, wasted little time in collecting birdies Friday. He holed a 10-footer for birdie at the 10th, his first hole in the second round, and followed with a 20-foot birdie at 11 and 15-footer at the 12th.
He dropped his first shot of the tournament at the 16th when he was blocked by a tree after an errant drive. Goosen rebounded from the mishap at 16 with a short birdie putt at the 18th to make the turn at 3-under 32.
Goosen drained an 18-footer for birdie at the second hole before seven consecutive pars to close the round. On the ninth hole, his final hole of the day, Goosen's drive landed a few feet from the out of bounds marker but the South African saved par to salvage a round of 4-under 66.
'I played pretty nice overall. That is probably as good as I could have done,' said Goosen, a co-leader after the first round. 'There were a few holes that were playing really tough today. I never really gave myself a lot of birdie chances like yesterday.'
Baddeley did most of his damage later in the round Friday. He tallied four birdies and a bogey through the first 13 holes but at his 14th, the fifth at Waialae, Baddeley notched a 15-foot birdie putt. He added a five-footer for birdie at the par-3 seventh and closed his round with a two-putt birdie at the ninth to polish off a round of 6-under 64.
'It wasn't an easy day today,' said Baddeley, an Australian who was born in the United States. 'I went out there today just wanting to show patience and I think I showed patience today with a capital P. That was the main goal for today.'
Baddeley is participating in his first event as a member of the PGA Tour after he qualified last year by finishing 10th on the Nationwide Tour money list. In 22 career starts on the PGA Tour, this was only the sixth cut he made although the 21-year-old has enjoyed some success in his career.
He captured two Australian Open titles before he turned 20 years old and beat Sergio Garcia in a playoff at the Holden International in 2001.
'This is where you dream of being,' said Baddeley, referring to the PGA Tour. 'My first event with my tour card and being tied for the lead after 36 is fantastic. We are only halfway and I am just going to go out tomorrow and keep doing what I've been doing.'
Els closed with three birdies in his last five holes to get within one of the lead and put him in a good position. If Els can make it to the winner's circle on Sunday, he would become the first player to win the first two PGA Tour events in one season since Steve Jones in 1989.
'Obviously, I prefer last week,' said Els, referring to his 31-under drubbing of the field at the Mercedes Championships. 'But I also enjoy this, when it gets quite bunched up and you've got to grind it out. Sometimes par is a good score. If I keep playing like this, I'll like it.'
Shigeki Maruyama is alone in sixth place at 8-under par, followed by Briny Baird, who is alone in seventh at minus-7. Tim Herron, Harrison Frazar, Chris Riley, Brenden Pappas, Fred Funk and Jim Furyk share eighth place at 6-under-par 134.
The 36-hole cut fell at even-par 140 with 77 players advancing to the weekend. Among the notable players who fell short were: reigning PGA Champion Rich Beem (141), Stewart Cink (141), Paul Azinger (142), Ty Tryon (142) and Jose Maria Olazabal (149).
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