Rose blooms with hard work

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The Independent Online

Mathew Goggin squandered a great start but still held the clubhouse lead after his second round at the Memorial tournament here yesterday.

The Australian birdied four of the first five holes but it was tough work after that. He finished with seven birdies, five bogeys and a double bogey, some the result of a couple of errors caused by his lack of familiarity with the course in his first appearance at the Jack Nicklaus-hosted event.

Goggin limped home with an even-par 72 in difficult, breezy conditions at Muirfield Village to post a seven-under 137 halfway total, one stroke ahead of American Jerry Kelly, who also shot 72, while Australians Geoff Ogilvy and Nick O'Hern and Americans Matt Kuchar and Steve Lowery were at four-under 140.

"I holed a 20-footer from off the green at the first," said Goggin, who has not won on the PGA Tour. "I holed a 25-footer at the next and a 15-footer at the next.

"I didn't know what was going on ... but I think that it just got windier and tougher and tougher and not having the experience on this course, I made a few mental mistakes and left a couple of shots in bad positions or misjudged the wind," he added.

Kelly, who played with Goggin, was much steadier, recording three birdies and three bogeys.

He almost holed out for eagle with a six-iron at the par-four first, settling for a birdie and hit it close at the next two holes as well, only to miss the putts.

"Once the wind picked up, the swing got a little sloppy," Kelly said. "I started reacting to the wind rather than just swinging."

Justin Rose hit a disappointing second round 73, but that was enough to ensure that he stayed in touch with the leaders, finishing the day on three under par. Luke Donald enjoyed better fortunes, and was well positioned for a charge at Goggin, the Englishman lying just two shots adrift of the leader after 16 holes.