Graeme McDowell made a welcome return to form as a superb 66 lifted him into a share of the halfway lead at the Genesis Open.
McDowell carded seven birdies and a pair of bogeys on day two as the hard and fast conditions at Riviera Country Club continued to take their toll on the field, with Tiger Woods missing the cut by a distance after an eight-bogey 76.
Rory McIlroy is safely through to the weekend after posting a 69 despite missing back-to-back three-foot putts on the front nine, while defending champion Dustin Johnson dug deep to make the cut with a shot to spare.
McDowell ended the day tied at the top with Patrick Cantlay on seven under, the young American setting the early clubhouse target after three consecutive birdies late in his round put him three clear of the field, although a poor drive at his final hole cost him his third bogey of the day.
Cantlay's 69 appeared likely to be good enough for the outright lead with birdie chances at a premium and the course firming up for the later starters, but McDowell made light of the conditions as he began his second round with three straight birdies from the 10th.
The 2010 US Open champion, whose world ranking has tumbled to 219 following missed cuts in his last four starts, was one of many to falter on the greens as he took the gloss off his flying start with three-putt bogeys at the 13th and 14th.
But he steadied himself with a pair of pars before getting back on track with another birdie at the long 17th, and he picked up further strokes at the first and second to haul himself within one shot of Cantlay.
McDowell then added a bonus birdie at the fourth when his 55-foot putt from the fringe dropped in the cup for an unlikely two, and his short game was in fine order as he parred safely home.>
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Watch Wayne Riley warming up for four days on on-course commentary with a workout at Muscle Beach in LA
Cantlay and McDowell were later joined by Sam Saunders, the grandson of the late, great Arnold Palmer, who recovered from an erratic back nine to make four birdies in six holes before play was suspended due to darkness shortly after he found the fairway at the par-four seventh.
American Ryder Cup star Ryan Moore put himself on course to upstage McDowell and Cantlay when he eagled the first and birdied the second and sixth holes before hitting back from a bogey at nine with back-to-back birdies which gave him the outright lead on eight under.
But Moore struggled down the stretch and blotted his card at 12 and 15 as he settled for a 68 which left him one stroke off the lead, with Tony Finau and Scott Stallings both well placed on five under par.
McIlroy got off to the ideal start with two birdies over the first three holes, but his inconsistency with the putter was again evident as he gave shots away at the seventh and eighth with two missed three-foot putts.
The world No 10 responded with birdies at 11 and 13 either side of another blemish at the 12th, and he looked more assured on the greens when he holed from 15 feet at the 15th before parring in to return a 69 - five shots behind the leaders heading into the weekend.
Johnson looked in danger of making an early exit when he bogeyed the 14th - his fifth - to slide to four over for the tournament, but the world No 1 reeled off three birdies in four holes mid-round and safely negotiated his remaining five holes in par to stay at one over.
But Woods was unable to reproduce the scrambling form he showed at Torrey Pines last month, hitting only four of 14 fairways and three-putting three times for bogeys on the back nine as he laboured to a 76 to drop to six over par.
Source : http://www.skysports.com/golf/news/12176/11253896/graeme-mcdowell-tied-for-the-halfway-lead-at-genesis-open
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