Sabbatini chases Stanley in golf Honda Classic

Florida: South African Rory Sabbatini carded a six-under 64 to remain in the hunt behind Kyle Stanley after the second round of the $5.7 million US PGA Tour’s Honda Classic.

The 35-year-old Sabbatini, who fired the low round of the week Friday, is one shot back of leader and tour rookie Stanley who posted a four-under 66 to reach six-under 134.

Sabbatini switched putters prior to the tournament and it is paying dividends. He needed just 21 putts in the second round -- one more than the tour’s tournament low this year.

“Probably I’m the most confident I’ve been with the putter in a really long time,” he said.

Sabbatini got off to a slow start this week but he picked it up Friday as he birdied three consecutive holes beginning on No. 13.

“After the way I struggled yesterday and just trying to get in at one-over, I wasn’t exactly looking forward to getting out there today,” Sabbatini said.

“You put the ball in the right spots a few times and make a couple of putts, and all of a sudden you stop worrying about everything and you just start trying to make some more birdies.”

American Stanley, who is seeking his first US Tour title, rolled in a half dozen birdies and made bogey twice.

The wind was still a factor Friday but not as big an obstacle as it was in the opening round.

“The wind probably wasn’t as strong as it was Thursday,” Stanley said. “Late in my round it wasn’t really a factor.”

South African Charl Schwartzel was third at three under after a 69, and Ricky Barnes (68), Jerry Kelly (67), Australian Stuart Appleby (70) and Tommy Gainey (67) were two-under.

Among those five shots behind at one-under were world number two Lee Westwood of England (69) and Thursday’s opening-round leader Spencer Levin (72).

Matt Kuchar’s tour-best streak of 153 straight holes without a three-putt came to an end Friday. The 2002 tournament winner shot 70.

The cut fell at six over, the highest on the tour this year. Defending champion Camilo Villegas shot 78 and missed the cut. Canadian Mike Weir stumbled to four double bogeys and a triple bogey as he posted a career-worst 85.

Bureau Report

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