Rose pads lead, Woods six adrift in US Open 2nd round

Rose opened with five straight pars. (Getty Images/AFP)
Updated 14 June 2019

Rose pads lead, Woods six adrift in US Open 2nd round

  • The steady effort came on the heels of Rose’s late surge in his six-under first round

PEBBLE BEACH, US: Justin Rose, aiming to build on his record-equalling first-round 65, stretched his lead early in the second round of the US Open at Pebble Beach on Friday.
On a misty morning on the Monterey Peninsula, Rose opened with five straight pars before his first birdie of the day at the par-four 15th.
He got up and down for a birdie from a greenside bunker at the par-five 18th to reach eight-under with nine to play.
The steady effort came on the heels of Rose’s late surge in his six-under first round, in which three straight birdies to finish saw him match the lowest round ever posted in a US Open at Pebble Beach.
Rose’s nearest pursuers had yet to tee off, with Rickie Fowler, Louis Oosthuizen and Xander Schauffele, who carded first-round 66s, all in the afternoon wave.
Birdies remained plentiful and 39 players were under par, but no one was able to mount an extended charge.
American Chesson Hadley had three birdies in his first five holes to reach six-under before a double-bogey at the 15th. He was four-under with six to play after a bogey at the third.
South African Aaron Wise, who started the day five-under, was slowed by a double-bogey at the seventh and was five shots back through 14.
American Matt Kuchar reaching five-under with three birdies in his first nine holes, but fell back with a double-bogey at the 10th.
Tiger Woods, playing alongside Rose and trying to make up a five-shot overnight deficit, rolled in a 10-foot birdie putt at the 11th, his second hole of the day. Eight pars saw the 15-time major champion him make the turn at two-under — six adrift of Rose.
Two-time defending champion Brooks Koepka started the day two-under and remained there after a birdie and a bogey in his first nine holes.
Sweden’s Henrik Stenson, and reigning British Open champion Francesco Molinari, who were among eight players who began the day at three-under, were both even for the day with one birdie and one bogey in their first nine holes.
Four-time major winner Rory McIlroy, who was also three-under after the first round, was due out at 1:36pm (2036 GMT).
McIlroy is coming off a victory at the Canadian Open last week, trying to become the first player to follow a US PGA Tour victory with US Open triumph.
Phil Mickelson, seeking the elusive US Open title that would complete his career grand slam, was targeting a round in the 60s after a one-over 72 on Thursday.
“I’m playing well enough to do it,” said the 48-year-old, who won the PGA Tour’s National Pro-am at Pebble Beach in February. “It’s the best I’ve played in a long time, certainly since the start of the year.
“If I’m patient, I’ll get better as the week goes on. The goal is just to get within striking distance for Sunday.”


Australian Open: Alexander Zverev sweeps past Stan Wawrinka to make first Grand Slam semis

Updated 29 January 2020

Australian Open: Alexander Zverev sweeps past Stan Wawrinka to make first Grand Slam semis

  • The seventh seed was thumped in the first set but recovered to grind down the 2014 champion
  • Zverev fired 13 aces against just one double fault, with a first-serve percentage of 80 percent

MELBOURNE: German young gun Alexander Zverev stormed into his first Grand Slam semifinal on Wednesday, rallying from a set down to shatter the dreams of veteran Stan Wawrinka at the Australian Open.
The seventh seed was thumped in the first set but recovered to grind down the 2014 champion 1-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 in hot sun on Rod Laver Arena.
He will face either world number one Rafael Nadal or Austrian fifth seed Dominic Thiem in the last four, with a final beckoning against Novak Djokovic or Roger Federer.
“It feels awesome,” said Zverev who has been donating $10,000 for each win at Melbourne Park to Australian bushfire relief, and will even hand over the A$4.12 million ($2.78 million) winner’s cheque if he clinches the title.
“I’ve done well at other tournaments and in other matches but could never break that barrier in Grand Slams. You can’t imagine what this means to me.
“I hope it will be the first of many.”
Big things have been tipped for Zverev since he burst into the top 10 in 2017, but until now the 22-year-old has not fully delivered, slipping down the rankings last year to seven from four at the start of the season.
But after a poor build-up to the year’s opening Major at the ATP Cup, where he lost all three matches, he worked hard on the practice court and has been in fine touch to finally make a Grand Slam last four at his 19th attempt.
His serve, a key focus of his extended practices, was a weapon once again against 34-year-old three-time Grand Slam champion Wawrinka.
He fired 13 aces against just one double fault, with a first-serve percentage of 80 percent.
It was Wawrinka who came out of the blocks firing, putting immediate pressure on the Zverev serve, getting his returns back to break straight away when the German netted a half-volley.
Zverev won just four points in the opening three games as he struggled to get the measure of Wawrinka, and he was broken again when he shanked a forehand high into the crowd.
The German finally held to get himself on the scoreboard but the Swiss was moving and serving well, unleashing some crunching groundstrokes to take the set in just 24 minutes.
Zverev needed to hold his opening serve in the second set to halt the Wawrinka juggernaut and he rose to the occasion, with his court coverage and groundstrokes raising a level.
It went with serve until game eight when Wawrinka drilled a forehand into the net and Zverev screamed ‘C’mon’ after his first break of the match, serving out for the set.
A resurgent Zverev rammed home his advantage with an early break in the third set before the wily Swiss hit back. But a poorly executed drop shot again handed the 22-year-old another break and he raced to a two sets to one lead.
Wawrinka, who beat Rafael Nadal in the 2014 Melbourne final, was out of fight and Zverev had him dancing to his tune as he raced to victory, ending the popular Swiss star’s bid for a first Slam semi since Roland Garros in 2017.