Rose finishes second round at Funai, leads by four

Updated: October 21, 2006, 3:11 PM ET
Associated Press

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Justin Rose gained a stroke Saturday, then gave it right back and finished the second round where he started -- with a four-shot lead.

Rose birdied the par-5 No. 8, sinking a 10-foot putt to move to 18 under, then bogeyed his final hole after an errant chip.

"I haven't chipped much," he said after a 5-under 67.

Coming off a 12-under 60 on Thursday, Rose was 17 under through 16 holes when the second round was suspended because of darkness Friday. He completed it Saturday morning, finishing four strokes ahead of Tag Ridings.

"I'll take it," Rose said.

Rose also had a four-shot lead when the second round started following a 70-minute fog delay. The 26-year-old Englishman shot the 60 on the Palm Course on Thursday and barely missed three putts over the final six holes that left him one stroke away from tying the PGA Tour scoring record.

He was nearly as good Friday on the much tougher Magnolia Course.

"The enjoyable thing as a pro golfer is being in that focused zone," Rose said. "It doesn't come around every day or every week."

Rose started the second round with consecutive birdies. He added four more over a five-hole stretch to extend his lead to seven strokes.

"You have to come back with a completely fresh mind-set and almost forget about the day before," Rose said. "Starting birdie-birdie was a good thing and got me back on the horse."

Rose stayed there most of the round, making seven birdies and two bogeys.

Ridings was at 13-under 131. Troy Matteson (65) was 12 under, and Robert Damron (65) and Marco Dawson (66) were another stroke behind.

Rose was one of eight players who finished the second round Saturday. He will play in the final group later Saturday with Ridings and Matteson.

While Rose is seeking his first PGA Tour victory, Ridings, Damron and Dawson may have even more to play for -- a chance to move up enough on the money list to possibly keep their tour cards and avoid qualifying school.

The top 125 on the money list retain their full cards. Ridings is ranked 150th, with Dawson (163) and Damron (167) not too far behind.

"I must need a little excitement in my life," Damron said. "It's not the way I planned it. But I'm totally at peace with whatever happens. If I don't make a couple of big checks and keep my card, I don't. I go to Q-school.

"Whatever happens, it just happens. I put a lot more pressure on myself in the middle of the year and it didn't work out."

Ridings had a different approach.

"The key is to not think about that," he said. "You can think about whatever you want. So I'm going to think about one shot. If you're focusing on [the money list], you're focusing on the wrong thing."

Notes
The cut was 5 under, leaving notables Mark O'Meara, Tom Lehman, Camilo Villegas, Paul Azinger, Ben Curtis and Justin Leonard with the weekend off. ... John Huston had four eagles in the first two rounds, but was just 4 under.


Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press

ALSO SEE