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Less spectacular day okay for Rose

Justin Rose tees off on No. 3 on his way to shooting 68 at the BMW Championship. He shared the lead with Mark Wilson at the halfway point.

Associated Press

Justin Rose tees off on No. 3 on his way to shooting 68 at the BMW Championship. He shared the lead with Mark Wilson at the halfway point.

LEMONT, Ill. — Coming off his best round of the year, Justin Rose figured it couldn't get much better in the PGA Tour's BMW Championship.

He was good enough Friday for 3-under 68 and a share of the lead with Mark Wilson.

Rose felt flat at times, especially early on the back nine at Cog Hill on a cool, overcast day in the Chicago suburbs. But a 3-iron into 30 feet for an eagle on the par-5 15th woke him up, and not even a bogey on the last hole changed his outlook on the day or the weekend of this FedEx Cup playoff event.

"You never quite know what to expect after playing so well in the first round," Rose said of his opening 63. "Actually, my caddie said it's the best round he's seen in 20 years out there from a ball-striking perspective. So there's only one way to go from there. But (Friday) was good."

It was even better for Wilson, who considers Cog Hill a home course after moving to the area. Wilson again had a large following of friends and family, and he treated them to a good show. He ran off four straight birdies around the turn and was steady the rest of the way for 66.

They were at 11-under 131.

Webb Simpson, who leads the FedEx Cup point standings and has won two of his past three tournaments, made his only bogey on No. 5 but was otherwise solid to shoot 68. He was two shots behind.

They will be in the final group this morning, when tee times are moved forward to finish in time for NBC to televise the Notre Dame football game.

John Senden, No. 55 in the FedEx Cup standings and needing a top-five finish to reach the playoff-finale Tour Championship next week, had 66 and was alone in fourth at 134. Bill Haas, who has the Presidents Cup on his mind at No. 12 on the list of American candidates, was another shot back after 66.

This is the final event for the top 10 players for the U.S. and international teams to qualify for the November Presidents Cup. Brandt Snedeker (No. 11) had 66 and was in a group at 137 that included David Toms (No. 10). Also at 137 were Geoff Ogilvy and Robert Allenby, both on the bubble for the internationals.

For the playoffs, the top 30 in the point standings after this tournament advance to the Tour Championship, the last of four playoff events, for a shot at the $10 million prize.

Wilson, a two-time winner early this season, is a lock for the Tour Championship. He has to win this event to earn a spot on the Presidents Cup team.

Phil Mickelson started his round by missing three birdie putts inside 8 feet, then had four bogeys on his back nine for 73 to put him 14 shots behind.

Luke Donald, the world No. 1, bounced back from an opening 75 with 66 that got him to under par. Then the former NCAA champion from Northwestern learned he had a 7:35 a.m. starting time today because of the TV conflict with Notre Dame.

Donald put this post on his Twitter account: "Thanks Notre Dame for my 7.35am tee time. I knew there was a reason why I didn't like you!"

Teen Thompson leads at LPGA tournament

PRATTVILLE, Ala. — Lexi Thompson, 16, of Coral Springs, shot 4-under 68 to take the lead after two rounds of the Navistar Classic. The teenager was at 10-under 134, two shots ahead of Stacy Lewis and Becky Morgan.

Thompson was a 14-year-old amateur in 2009 when she was tied for the Navistar Classic lead after two rounds before finishing 27th. She tied for 16th last year as a professional.

"I'm playing smart and just making birdies," Thompson said. "I'm just trying to do my best. That's all I can do."

Meena Lee (64) came within one shot of tying the course record and was third at 137.

Seminole's Brittany Lincicome shot 70 and was at 142. Tampa resident Kristy McPherson (70—145) made the cut by two shots. Tampa's Cindy LaCrosse (147 missed the cut by a stroke. Clearwater's Jenny Gleason (157) also missed the cut.

CHAMPIONS: Mark Calcavecchia shot 66 in the first round of the Songdo IBD Championship in Incheon, South Korea, to share the lead with David Peoples and Michael Allen.

Less spectacular day okay for Rose 09/16/11 [Last modified: Saturday, September 17, 2011 12:11am]
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