Furyk keeps Bridgestone lead
Jim Furyk built a two-shot lead heading into day three of the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational in Akron, Ohio.
The American is on 11 under after following up his opening-round 63 with a four-under 66 at the Firestone CC (South Course).
The overnight leader started well with a birdie four at the second and added another at the sixth before he bogeyed the eighth.
However, three birdies in five holes from the ninth then cemented Furyk's position at the top.
Spain's Rafael Cabrera Bello was second on nine under after an impressive 65. Two birdies in the opening three holes gave the 28-year-old a flying start, and consecutive birdies at 10 and 11 further strengthened his position. A dropped shot at 14 was cancelled out at 16 before he closed with another birdie.
South Africa's Louis Oosthuizen leapt up the field following an impressive five-under 65. The 2010 champion collected four birdies in his final eight holes in a blemish-free second round.
World number one Luke Donald was closing in on clubhouse leader Furyk after a solid start to his second round but his inability to turn pars into birdies meant he could only card a 69, leaving him in joint-sixth place on five under.
The Englishman parred 13 of his 18 holes, picking up birdies on the second, 12th and 14th but dropping shots on the 10th and 13th.
Donald's compatriot Lee Slattery will be disappointed with his round after a one-over 71 left him seven shots off the leader.
The world number 230, who was second after the first day, dropped a shot at the fourth but seemed to be heading for a solid round after picking up birdies at six, seven and 10. However he ended poorly with three bogeys over the final four holes.
Another of the English contingent, Simon Dyson, looked out of contention at the halfway stage after he too signed for a 71 to leave him three under for the tournament. He dropped shots at seven and 11 and, although he birdied 12 and 13, a bogey at the last spoilt his round.
Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy, the 2011 US Open champion, was tied 12th with Dyson after an encouraging round of 67 saw him surge up the leaderboard.
Furyk, who is hunting his first title since 2010, said after his round: "I thought it was key to get off to a nice start and see some putts go in. Made a good birdie putt at two and saw some birdies go in on the front nine, good putt at nine, and I was kind of off to the races.
"Good round, and it'll be nice to relax a little bit this afternoon and maybe check out the weather forecast later on.
"I think the wind is supposed to pick up a little bit. If it gets breezy, the wind picks up, and the greens get faster, this place will show a little bit more teeth than we've seen so far."
While Furyk can reflect on a superb start to his tournament, his countryman Tiger Woods has found things much less comfortable.
Woods, who is seeking to win the tournament for a record-equalling eighth time, finds himself 13 shots off the lead at the midway point after following up his first-round 70 with a two-over-par 72.
He said: "Yesterday was bad putts. Today I had good speed and just still not quite right.
And the putts I did pure, they were just lipping out. So that's fine. But I just need to get more consistent where I just don't hit a bad putt. As soon as I start doing that, everything will be fine.
"I'm hitting it well. I'm making nothing. Certainly I didn't hit it good enough to be 11 under par, but I certainly hit it good enough to be right there in the top five going into the weekend, no problem at all."
Hello, regular commenting on Orange News and Sport pages closes on Thursday 30 May 2013. We will continue to provide a commenting facility on major news and sport events on orangeworld.co.uk. Contact us via http://oran.ge/OWfeedback if you have any further questions. Thanks.