Villegas is up to par
Camilo Villegas accomplished his goal yesterday in the Buick Invitational in San Diego, keeping it around par and keeping the lead while playing the tough South Course in all the elements a golfer dreads, from rain to wind to cold.
John Rollins was one shot behind, and achieved more than anyone imagined.
On a tough day for scoring, Rollins holed out a 9-iron for eagle and made six birdies on his way to an 8-under-par 64 that at least gave Villegas some company heading into the weekend.
Villegas teed off in a steady rain, and when he reached the exposed holes along the Pacific bluffs, more rain arrived, with gusts up to 25 miles per hour. But he scrambled for pars, took advantage of a few par 5s, and wound up with a 70 that put him at 11-under 133.
"I looked at my caddie walking down the 10th fairway - it was just pouring - and I told him, 'Listen, let's find a way to keep it around par and maybe get it in the red numbers,' " Villegas said. "I scrambled pretty good and 2 under, I'm happy with it."
Rollins played the front nine (he started on No. 10) in 31. "When I saw he was at 11 [under], I was just trying to get in position to be in the last couple of groups, just staying in the mix," Rollins said. "It just so happened things started going in."
He caught Villegas at 11 under with a birdie on the par-3 eighth and had a chance to match the South Course record since 2002 - when Rees Jones first began to lengthen the course for the US Open - until a bogey on the par-5 ninth.
Charley Hoffman, coming off a playoff loss last week at the FBR Open, shot a 66 -137 on the easier North Course.
Phil Mickelson, coming off a missed cut at the FBR Open, also is playing the weekend, although not as close to the lead as he would like.
The three-time winner at Torrey Pines made three bogeys on the par 5s at the North Course for a 72, leaving him at 2-under 142.
Padraig Harrington, at No. 3 the highest-ranked player in the event, went 13 holes without a birdie until holing a 15-footer at No. 5 on the South Course, raising his arms in mock triumph. He had a 74 and was at 145.
European Ladies - Australia's Nikki Campbell shot a 7-under 65 (10-under 134) to take a one-stroke lead after two rounds of the ANZ Australian Ladies Masters in Gold Coast.
A shot back is fellow Australian Kristie Smith, who had seven straight birdies to start her round of 62.
Using a new cross-handed putting grip, she equaled the Tour's record of seven successive birdies, two short of American Beth Daniels's world record of nine set in Texas in 1999.