Goosen Grabs Chrysler Lead


PALM HARBOR, Fla. -- Retief Goosen fired a 5-under 66 on Friday to take the 36-hole lead at the Chrysler Championship. Goosen finished at 7-under-par 135, one shot ahead of his closest competitors.
Jose Coceres and J.J. Henry shared second place at 6-under-par 136.
'I was a bit better in my iron play today, I seemed to hit it closer today than I did yesterday,' said Goosen. 'It's a long way to go. It's only going to get tougher on the weekend.'
Goosen hit a 6-iron to 16 feet for a birdie at the par-4 second. He followed that up with a birdie at the fifth and ran home an 18-footer for a birdie at the seventh to make the turn at 5 under.
The South African continued his fine play on the inward half with a long birdie putt at the 10th. Goosen then knocked a wedge to 10 feet for a birdie at the 12th and picked up another birdie at the par-5 14th.
Goosen missed the green with his approach at the par-4 16th, however, and could not get up and down to save par for his only bogey of the day.
The 34-year-old is currently 26th on the PGA Tour money list although he hasn't won since last year's BellSouth Classic.
'Well, I think my putting has not been up to standard this year,' said the 2001 U.S. Open champion. 'I felt like I drove the ball pretty well this year and do what I've done in the past. But I think my putting has not quite been what it should be and if you look at the guys winning, their putting stats are right up in the top 10.'
Henry collected seven birdies and three bogeys for a round of 67.
'It's going to be a good test this weekend, no doubt about it,' said Henry. 'I'm just going to go out and try to have fun this weekend and look forward to the challenge.'
Overnight leader Charles Howell III carded an even-par 71 to join Jerry Kelly and Chad Campbell in a tie for fourth at 5-under-par 137.
Campbell played the back nine first and stumbled out of the gate with a bogey at the 10th. He countered with a birdie at the 14th but dropped another shot with a bogey at the very next hole.
The 29-year-old responded again and hit a 9-iron to six feet for a birdie at the 18th.
Campbell then tallied back-to-back birdies from the fourth to finish two shots off the pace after a round of 69.
'I feel like I got in a lot of good positions this year,' said Campbell, who is ninth on the money list. 'I'm disappointed I haven't won, but I definitely think it's a good year.'
Briny Baird shot a 66 to finish alongside Thomas Levet at 4-under-par 138. Jonathan Byrd was one shot further back at 3-under-par 139.
PGA Tour money leader Vijay Singh joined Robert Gamez, Pat Perez, Tim Petrovic, Loren Roberts, Woody Austin and Hank Kuehne in a tie for 10th at 2-under-par 140.
Defending champion K.J. Choi struggled with a second-round 74 to make the cut on the number at 3-over-par 145.
Among those who failed to qualify for the weekend were Ben Curtis, Shaun Micheel, Rich Beem and Phil Mickelson.
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - Chrysler Championship
  • Full Coverage - Chrysler Championship