Duo motor into lead

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. - Robert Allenby finished his round around lunchtime, and left PGA National thinking he'd be within two or three shots of the lead by day's end.


He ultimately was wrong, and probably thrilled.

Allenby shot 2-under-par 68 on Friday, getting him to 5 under after two rounds of the Honda Classic and into a tie atop the leaderboard with first-round leader Charlie Wi - who shot a wild round of 70.

Allenby is winless in his past 139 PGA Tour events, yet came here this week insisting that it's only a matter of time before that streak ends - and his play is backing up that assertion.

"I think 5 under is a pretty good score after two days," the Australian said. "This golf course is only going to get tougher from this moment on."

While the wind was down a bit from Thursday, the breezes did pick up a bit as the second round went along - and par remained a very solid score. The cut was 4-over and only 30 broke par.

Will MacKenzie and Steve Stricker were tied for third at 3 under after 69s, and Daniel Copra, Joe Ogilvie, Mathias Gronberg, Camilo Villegas and Mark Wilson were another shot back. Wilson and Gronberg shot 66s, the best round of the day.

"These pin positions aren't as tough as they would be at a major, but tee-to-green, it's set up like a U.S. PGA," said 2005 winner Padraig Harrington, who was among a group another shot back at 1 under.

Fortunately for Allenby, his game is in good-enough shape to handle the demands of PGA National.

He put together four consecutive top-10s earlier this season, leads the tour in birdies per round and ranks second in scoring average.

"At the start of the week, I thought 10 under, 11 under would probably win this tournament," Allenby said.

JOHNNIE WALKER CLASSIC: In Phuket, Thailand, former Augusta State standout Oliver Wilson had two eagles on his way to 6-under-par 66, taking the lead after two rounds of the European Tour event.

Wilson eagled the 11th and 15th holes to move one shot ahead of Anton Haig, who produced 64, the day's low round at Blue Canyon Country Club.

James Nitties finished with 67, sharing third place with Retief Goosen.

Wilson was bogey-free until the 18th, where he struggled before sending home a 6-foot putt.

"There was a twig which I couldn't move, Wilson said. "I made a mess of it all the way to the green until I got to within six feet of the hole. It was a nice way to finish."

Haig's effort tied him with Greg Norman for the course record, which Norman set in 1994.

"I've been practicing hard this year and working a bit on the golf swing and my coach really helped me back in South Africa," Haig said.

First-round leader Brad Kennedy went from 65 to 77 to share 32nd place.

After lackluster first rounds, Australia's Adam Scott (74-69-143) and South Africa's Ernie Els (73-70-143) rallied to make the cut and are tied for 51st place.



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