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Garrigus Fires Away at CIMB Classic


The shooting gallery that's called the Mines Resort & Golf Club in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, remained open for business in the second round of the CIMB Classic, a $6.1 million event co-sanctioned by the PGA and Asian tours.

Idaho native Robert Garrigus fired his second straight 7-under 64 to reach 14-under 128, two strokes ahead of South Africa's Jbe Kruger, who also shot 64. Aussie Greg Chalmers posted a 66 to tie for third at 132 with first-round leader Troy Matteson, who followed up his opening 63 with a 69.

The long-hitting Garrigus, whose only victory on the PGA Tour was the 2010 Children's Miracle Network Classic, carded eight birdies and a bogey, the latter coming on the par-4 18th hole. The 34-year-old plans to keep his foot on the gas pedal in the final two rounds at the rain-softened course.

"I'm going to try to get to 30 (under-par) if I can," said Garrigus said, who noted in his first tournament of the year - the Humana Challenge in La Quinta, Calif., - he was 6-over after eight holes but played the next 54 in 32-under par. "So I can do it. I just need to do it on the weekend when it counts."

Garrigus isn't lacking for confidence this week. "I feel like if I'm putting well, I mean, no disrespect to anybody on the PGA Tour. They're all great players," he told reporters. "But I feel like I can beat anybody in the world. I've played with Tiger. I've played with Rory in the Tour Championship. I hit it just as good as those guys. It's just the short game.

"But if I'm putting well and if I keep putting like this on the weekend it's going to be hard to catch me. That is the only thing I've got to focus on is making putts, because I'm going to hit it good. I've always hit it well. I do have a very high confidence level right now," added Garrigus.

"I had one of the best years of my career," said Garrigus, who's earned $2,792,930 this year. "I'm having fun, having a good time with it. A lot of my hard work is paid off and that's nice to see. A lot of time in the gym. I lost 30 pounds from last year. I'm just a completely different person. So confidence level is high, and I feel like I can beat anybody, doesn't matter who I'm playing.

"I finished fourth in that last event, and it was Rory, Phil, Tiger and they were all right next to me. I was staring them down. That's a good feeling."

Kruger, a regular on the European Tour who won the Avantha Masters in India in February, hopes to continue his fine play over the weekend. "I think I'll probably just try to do the same," he said of his approach in the final two rounds of the no-cut tournament. "I'll be playing well. I can't really play much better than I am at the moment. The key is to hit the fairways, hit the greens, and then take it from there."

Sharing fifth at 133, five strokes behind Garrigus, are Zimbabwe's Brendon de Jonge (65) and Americans Kevin Na (66) and Tiger Woods (67).

Due to muddy conditions, the field was allowed to play lift-clean-and-place with balls hit in the fairway, an invitation for the best golfers in the world to have excellent lies and fire at the pins. "We've got two rounds to go. Today we had ball in hand, tomorrow we may have ball in hand again, so if that's the case, we have a chance to make some birdies," said Woods.

The No. 2-ranked player lamented his missed opportunities on Friday. "It was just one of those days that I didn't make enough birdies. I had - I didn't really have a lot of looks, and then the looks I did have were downhill, cross grain putts and putts that I just couldn't be aggressive with. Just kind of the way it worked out today."

Tied for eighth at 134 are Americans Ben Crane (66), Jeff Overton (70) and Brian Harman (70), while another stroke back are South Africa's Trevor Immelman (63) and Americans Bill Haas (65) and Bo Van Pelt (65). Van Pelt, who won last week's Perth Invitational in Australia, is the CIMB Classic's defending champion.

Immelman, the 2009 Masters' champion, admitted his 9-under effort was aided by the preferred-lie ruling. "There was a lot of mud," the 32-year-old Cape Town native told reporters. "(Thursday) was a bit of a borderline call that could have gone either way. I understood what they were trying to do.

"But if you were in the fairway, a lot of mud made it really tricky to these small little greens. So having preferred lie today definitely did help once you could clean it, and control the ball on your second shot a little bit."

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