Rose, Allenby upstage Woods

Team Infidel

Forum Spin Doctor

[SIZE=+1]Some spectacular shots by Robert Allenby and Justin Rose give them the second-round lead in Norton, and a struggling Tiger Woods drops into a tie for third.[/SIZE]

[SIZE=-1]01:00 AM EDT on Sunday, September 3, 2006

Journal Sports Writer

NORTON, Mass. -- What's the formula to get ahead of Tiger Woods in a PGA Tour event?
For Justin Rose, it is to chip in for birdie twice in one round, once from behind a tree. For Robert Allenby, it is to make a hole-in-one during a stretch in which he went 5-under-par over four holes.
Combine those shots with good, solid play the rest of the way in tough conditions and you can drop Woods all the way back into a tie for third. That's what happened yesterday on an eventful and unpredictable day in the Deutsche Bank Championship at the TPC of Boston.
Rose, a 26-year-old Englishman from whom much has been expected, earned a share of the second-round lead thanks in large part to his two chip-ins, both for deuces on par-3 holes. They helped him to a 2-under-par 69 and a 6-under 136 total at the midway point.
Allenby, a lean Australian who has won four times on tour, earned his share of the top spot thanks in large part to a fabulous four-hole stretch early in his round. Beginning on the back side, he birdied 15, had a hole-in-one on the 211-yard 16th and then birdied 17 and 18 on the way to a 66, the best round of the day.
Meanwhile, Woods, the man whose presence looms over everyone, showed he was human. He was over par for only the second time in his last 21 rounds, with a 1-over 72, to tumble into a tie for third, two strokes off the lead. He is tied at 4-under with defending champion Olin Browne and Aaron Baddeley.
If those developments sound a bit surprising, they barely begin to tell the story of how crazy the day was. The weather people had the worst performance as the rain they forecast never arrived. Anticipating rain, tour officials let players use the lift, clean and place rule when they were in the fairway. It just never rained. But the wind did blow, and it blew hard.
"It was a tough day. It reminded me a lot of the third round at Westchester this year," said Bristol's Billy Andrade, who put himself in good position at 2-under, four off the lead, with his second straight 70. "Blustery conditions, cold, the ball wasn't going as far. You had to really watch out on every shot. On any hole, you could blow up and you could be out of here."
Scores were even higher than on opening day, when they were the second-highest ever here. Yesterday, the field averaged 73.4, the highest in tournament history, so that even players who stand at 3-over qualified to play the final two rounds.
"The golf course isn't giving people a lot," said Browne, the defending champion. "The name of the game is patience."
The fact that Woods went out early and struggled had to give others some encouragement. The man riding a four-tournament winning streak showed up with a case of the lefts. He was pulling shots left of his target all day.
"I got on the first tee and snapped my 5-wood over there (left), and the next hole snapped a 6-iron off the tee. It wasn't very good," he said.
How many good shots did he hit?
"Not many," he responded. "I hit some good putts. Does that count?"
Woods got a bit of a scare on the par-4 fourth after driving into the trees. He hit the tree on both his back swing and follow-through and dropped his club.
"It freaked me out because I didn't think I was going to hit the tree on the back swing," he said. "And then when I hit it (on the follow-through), it felt like my elbow bent around the tree. That didn't feel very good. But at least I had a good lie on my third shot."
"I missed it in the wrong spot on every hole," he said. "That was not good. But I hit some nice little pitches, and the putter saved me."
It is a sign of how struggles for him are different than for others that he had a six-footer for birdie on the last hole that would have brought him back to even par for the day. He didn't make it.
"I tell you what, if I had made that putt on the last hole it would have been the greatest 71 of all time for me," he said. "I wish I could have made it, but I blocked it. To shoot what I shot today considering the way I hit it. I hit more snap hooks than I've hit in just about any round I've ever played. It was just a terrible round of golf, but somehow I got it around."
Still, Rose and Allenby were the only ones able to pass him. Rose chipped in for birdie on the 11th, but then had an even better deuce on the 16th.
"I was probably 40 yards from the flag, in all. There was a tree right between me and the hole, but where I had to land the ball was right of the flag because of the way the green is banked," Rose said. "It was 10, 15 feet right of the flag to swing in.
"I didn't really focus too much on that," he said. "If I landed it on the green it was going to feed down to the hole. I needed to get it high and soft to let it land on the green. Basically, the green was doing all the work for me as long as I played it nicely."
Rose had a 63 in his first round ever at this course four years ago.
"It's equally as good. It's a completely different round of golf," Rose said of his 69. "The 63 was probably in perfect weather with the course playing rather short and easier, whereas today it played as tough as it could play, I would have thought. . . . But, yeah, it was a pleasing round, for sure."
Allenby had birdie putts of 27 feet on 15, 10 feet on 17 and 20 feet on 18. In between, on 16, he did not need to putt.
"The wind was howling into us off the left," he said. "I just ripped a 4-iron, a little draw, held it up and tried to land it soft. It pitched exactly where I wanted it to land, about seven or eight feet short of the hole, and then released up to the hole, which was perfect, and went in. It says on the plaque that I get a car, hopefully."
With televised coverage on ABC today extending to 7 p.m., the leaders will not begin until 2:20 p.m.