By RODNEY PAGE
PALM HARBOR — Justin Rose has played only four tournaments in 2014 due to tendinitis in his right shoulder, but his first two rounds at the PGA Tour's Valspar Championship showed him in good form.
The defending U.S. Open champion shot 3-under 68 in Friday's second round at Innisbrook's Copperhead Course and was in a group of four at 3-under 139, four shots behind leader Robert Garrigus.
"My shoulder is fine," Rose said. "Everyone keeps talking about it, but the shoulder is perfect."
Rose started the day at par and had five birdies and two bogeys. He chipped in on the ninth hole for birdie to end his day. He had two birdies on his final three holes Thursday to salvage his round.
"I feel like I got some momentum going (Friday)," he said. "I finished my round strong (Thursday), and it gave me some momentum into (Friday). I've played my way into contention."
Sponsor's exemption: Matteo Manassero, in the tournament on a sponsor's exemption, also was 3 under and in the hunt after shooting 1-under 70. "The tournament gave me a chance to come here, which is a privilege, and I wanted to play good golf," the 20-year-old Italian said.
Cutting down: The cut line was 3-over 145, the highest cut score on tour this season. It also ties the highest cut score in tournament history. … Eighty-four players made the cut, the second most in tournament history; 86 made the cut in 2010. There is a 54-hole cut to the top 70 and ties today.… A few marquee names are not around for the weekend: Ernie Els (4 over), Boo Weekley (4 over), Stewart Cink (5 over) and Vijay Singh (6 over). … First round co-leader Danny Lee (5 over) didn't make the cut after shooting 8-over 79.