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Friday, 03 August 2012
Rafael Cabrera-Bello  (Getty Images)
Rafael Cabrera-Bello (Getty Images)
Rafael Cabrera-Bello made light of his stomach troubles to move into second place behind Jim Furyk on day two of the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone.

As the sun continued to shine brightly in Akron, Cabrera-Bello, hampered by a virus in the build-up to this event, fired six birdies in an impressive 65 that lifted him to nine under par.

Furyk was two ahead of that mark after following his sublime opening 63 with a 66 containing five birdies and a solitary bogey at the eighth.

Louis Oosthuizen represented the main rival to the top two; a bogey-free 65 left the South African third on eight under, two clear of afternoon starter Kyung-tae Kim, who had completed 11 holes.

World Number One Luke Donald, meanwhile, was five under heading into the back nine and remained firmly in contention.

As Donald set about attempting to close the gap to the leaders, Cabrera-Bello reflected on another impressive day at the office.

“Obviously I haven't gone over the stats, but I did feel I did pretty much everything really good,” said the Spaniard.

“Easy is not the word, but it just went smooth the entire round. I started off good, played consistent through the middle holes and then had a really good finish, so it was really nice out there today.”

Cabrera-Bello prompted laughter among the assembled media when questioned about his ongoing stomach complaint.

“I do feel strong; I don't feel bad, but unfortunately my stomach is still no good, and we're going to stop talking about it,” he said, before revealing he had managed to eat breakfast prior to his second round.

The virus certainly has not prevented Cabrera-Bello from enjoying his first visit to Firestone.

“I think it's a great course,” he added. “Obviously scoring is going to be very difficult, but I think this course, the way it's set up, it's rewarding good play.”

Furyk is much more familiar with conditions in Ohio and is once again performing strongly at a venue where he has had seven top ten finishes.

“I am comfortable on this style of golf course; I've liked it here since the first year I've played and I've had a lot of success,” acknowledged the unassuming 42 year old.

“I've had years where I haven't played that well. It's a tough golf course, so your game has to be in good shape. But any time you go to a place where you like the golf course and you've played well in the past, you've already kind of got over one hump.”

Furyk may have found scoring easy thus far, but he is anticipating a challenging weekend should the weather turn.

“If it gets breezy, the wind picks up, and the greens get faster, this place will show a little bit more teeth than we've seen so far,” he warned.

Lee Slattery, playing in the group behind Cabrera-Bello, was left to rue three dropped shots in his final five holes as he went round in 71 to slip to four under.

“It was just a disappointing end, really,” he explained.  “If you miss fairways out there it's all about getting a good lie, and unfortunately I got two shockers out there which I really couldn't do much with.

“They led to bogeys and then (on) 17 I hit a wedge just over the pin, and it landed on the green, jumped over into the second cut and I just didn't hit a great chip and missed the putt.

“Apart from that, it was pretty good. I hit some good shots.”

Rory McIlroy reached the halfway stage at three under, having mixed six birdies with a bogey at 14, his fifth hole, and a double bogey six at the first.

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