Golf

Sergio Garcia takes charge at the Houston Open

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Sergio Garcia tops the leader-board on -12 after the second day at the Shell Houston Open in Texas.

In the final tournament before the Masters next week, the Spaniard established a one shot lead ahead of his nearest rival, Matt Kuchar, with a round of 65, in which he needed only 25 putts.

Garcia made birdies at hole three, four and five before backing his impressive front-nine up with two birdies and an eagle on the back-nine to come in at seven-under-par for the day.

Most of the 34-year-old's closest rivals are from the United States with Australian Matt Jones the only other player from outside of America to be in the top 12 - he sits T3 on -8 with Cameron Tringle, Shawn Stefani and the in-form Jimmy Walker, who will still be very optimistic about his chances of taking home the title.

Matt Kuchar, though, is Garcia’s nearest competitor at this stage. Kuchar, who raised a few eyebrows with his comments saying that Tiger Woods’ absence wouldn’t have any effect on the Masters earlier in the week, lies in second place, one shot off the lead, on -11.

He had been level with Garcia on -12 until the final hole, where he dropped his first shot of the week, bogeying the 18th.

It was a bad day for Keegan Bradley, who went from being one-shot off the lead on day-one to being eleven shots back at the mid-way point in the competition.

Bradley, who had been -29 over his last nine rounds on the Houston golf course, carded an uncharacteristic round of 77, five-over-par, and ended up struggling to make the cut, which stood at evens - only one shot worse than his current score of -1.

Elsewhere, Phil Mickleson showed that he is not being hampered too much by his heavily publicised injury, which threatened to rule him out of the Masters until very recently, and he sits T9 on -6.

Also in the chasing pack is former Masters champion Angel Cabrera and Rory McIlroy. The pair are both on -3 and currently in T27 position.

Paul Casey, Ian Poulter and Louis Oosthuizen were amongst the bigger names to fail to make the cut.

There was also disappointment for Padraig Harrington, who had to win this competition to secure a place at Augusta, as he struggled with cramp in his middle finger and went round in 75, meaning he will miss the chance to play at the Masters for the first time in 15-years.

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Topics:
Golf
Sergio Garcia

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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