sport

Watney three clear in Nevada

Nick Watney retained his lead at the Barracuda Championship in Nevada even though the American posted fewer than half the number of points he had scored on Thursday.

Using a Modified Stableford format, the 33-year-old followed his opening round of 18 points by adding another 8 on Friday to hold a three-point advantage at the half-way stage in Reno.

Watney offset five birdies with a brace of bogeys on day two and will be keen to end a 23-month winless drought.

He said: "The course was great and I played pretty well.

"I would have liked to have made a few more putts but overall, if you would have told me I'd have 26 points after two days, I would take it every time."

His nearest challenger after 36 holes is Australian Geoff Ogilvy who occupies second spot on his own thanks to rounds of 16 and 7 points.

Ogilvy adds: "It was tricky. The elevation makes it hard anyway, or awkward, and you add in that wind that goes from nothing to 20 miles an hour and back, gusting and spinning around in different directions. It's really awkward out there.

"I'm hitting the ball well. Obviously, if I hole a few putts, hopefully, I'll be there at the end."

The round's biggest mover was Jeff Overton who registered a joint-best of day 13 points to sweep 39 places up the leaderboard and into a tie-for-sixth.

Overton, who played in the 2010 Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor but is still without a PGA Tour title to his name, is six points off the pace at Montreux Country Club.

Americans fill 11 of the leading 13 spots going into the weekend while the leading European is Irishman Padraig Harrington who is tied-for-14th.

The three-time Major winner is nine points adrift following scores of 10 and 7.

Points Format:

Double-Eagle: 8 ptsEagle: 5Birdie: 2Par: 0Bogey: -1Double Bogey (or worse): -3