Goosen Holds 1-Shot Lead At the Bridgestone Invitational/Mickelson Closes In One No. 1 Ranking

August 7, 2010 – By Scott

Retief Goosen will head into this weekend at the Bridgestone Invitational carrying a one stroke lead over Phil Mickelson and Justin Leonard. Even though a bogey on his final hole of the day might have been not a great way to end the second round, it did not overshadow all he has accomplished so far in the tournament.

Goosen sits at 7-under for the tournament as he tries to hold on to his lead with 36 holes still yet to play. He shot 4-under on Friday and his highlight of the day came on the 4th hole. Facing a 25-yard chip to the green and looking at a probable bogey, Goosen nailed the chip that gave him a birdie on the soft conditions at Firestone. He realizes that he must continue his consistent play if he wants to win his first World Golf Championship.

“Every part of your game needs to be good here, driving especially,” Goosen said. “You need to hit it on the fairway, otherwise you’re struggling.”

Hitting fairways is important on this course and this is something that the No. 1 player in the world, Tiger Woods, has struggled with in the opening two rounds. Woods began his second round on the back nine and failed to hit a fairway until the 17th. Woods has struggled since his return to the PGA Tour and continued to look like just another ordinary player during the tournament. Woods is a seven-time champion at Firestone, but his tee shots have given him trouble in the first two rounds as he hit only three fairways on Friday and ended up at 2-over for the second round. He is tied for 72nd heading into the weekend.

As for Mickelson, he is in great shape to take over the No. 1 ranking held by Wood since 2005. All he needs to do is finish in fourth place alone and have Woods finish out of the top 14. Mickelson realizes that this is now a real possibility and knows he must take advantage of this opportunity.

“Obviously, it would be cool,” Mickelson said. “It would be something I would love to do, being regarded as No. 1 according to the ranking. And I know that I’ve got a great opportunity this week. I know that I’m playing well, and this is my best opportunity.”

Mickelson will enter Saturday’s third round as the favorite to win the Bridgestone Invitational according to PGA sportsbooks with his odds set at 9/4. Goosen has his set at 9/2. Paul Casey (4-under), Rory McIlroy (3-under), and Bo Van Pelt (5-under) have their odds set at 14/1.

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