JUSTIN Rose stressed the need to not look too far ahead after securing a share of the midway lead alongside American Bill Haas at the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Orlando.
The world No.5 had led by two shots after the first round but was pegged back in the second, signing for a two-under 70 after bogeying the 14th and 18th holes at Bay Hill Club & Lodge.
Haas, meanwhile, produced an impressive 66, and the pair ended the day nine under – one stroke ahead of John Huh (69).
Rose said: “I just stay with my game the whole day. At this stage of the tournament you are just trying to tick along, let the round evolve and put yourself in a position for Sunday.”
Rose added: “I felt I ticked along nicely today. Towards the end it got a little bit tricky with a little bit of rain and the greens got a little bit greasy, but for the most part it was playable and quite a nice day.
“It only really started raining heavily on 18, and I felt I got a flyer with my nine iron.
“Those things you can’t really account for – you are not 100 per cent sure if the greens have changed speed – maybe that got to me a little bit on the 18th green.
“That is a bit of a mental error, giving one away there, but all in all happy with the day, happy with the progress.”
Yesterday was also notable for Phil Mickelson’s failure to make the cut, the four-time major winner producing an error-strewn 79 including two triple-bogeys.
Defending champion Tiger Woods had looked to be challenging for a top spot but gusty winds down the back nine scuppered his bid, with three bogeys in the final three holes resulting in a second-round 70.
That left him four shots off the pace in a three-way tie for seventh – one adrift of Ken Duke, Jimmy Walker and JJ Henry, who were joint fourth.
Woods said: “I played way better than what I scored today. I had a rough finish.
“The good news is we’ve got 36 holes to go. I’ve sort of made my share of mistakes on the last few holes the last couple days, and I need to clean that up.”
n Spain’s Beatriz Recari surged into the halfway lead at the LPGA Tour Kia Classic courtesy of a second-round 67 at Aviara Golf Club in Carlsbad, California.
Recari picked up five birdies in her second straight bogey-free round to move to eight under.
American Paula Creamer (68) and Australia’s Karrie Webb (70) were joint second.