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Campbell charges clear as Singh slips back

Written by: Staff

AUGUSTA, Georgia, Apr 7 (Reuters) American Chad Campbell charged to the top of the leaderboard with a five-under-par 67 in the US Masters second round today.

Four strokes off the pace overnight, the 31-year-old Texan mixed six birdies with a solitary bogey at the par-four 17th to finish on six-under 138.

That put Campbell three ahead of first-round leader Vijay Singh, who was two over for the day after five holes as the wind began to pick up at Augusta National.

World number two Singh, champion in 2000, fell back after making a rousing start.

He picked up his first shot at the par-four first before forging ahead of the chasing pack with another at the par-four third.

However, Singh than ran up double-bogeys at the par-three fourth and the par-four fifth to slide to three under for the tournament.

The easy-swinging Fijian had been one stroke clear at the start of the day after firing a five-birdie 67 at a sun-baked Augusta.

Britain's Darren Clarke birdied the last for a 70 and a 36-hole total of two-under 142.

Level with the Northern Irishman in a congested leaderboard of high quality were 2004 winner Phil Mickelson and Ernie Els, after 14 holes, American Rocco Mediate, after 10, and 2003 champion Mike Weir, after seven.

World number one Tiger Woods, who opened with a 72, was one over after four holes.

FIFTH JACKET Chasing his fifth green jacket, the holder offset a bogey at the first with a birdie at the par-four third before dropping another stroke at the par-three fourth.

Woods won last year's title in a playoff with Chris DiMarco.

Australia's Nick O'Hern had been the early clubhouse leader at one-under 143 following a level-par 72.

The left-hander got to three under overall before bogeying two of the last three holes.

''It's just a tough golf course,'' O'Hern told reporters after finishing level with American Billy Mayfair (72).

''The conditions didn't change much from yesterday. We had a bit of breeze which makes it firmer.

''I didn't strike the ball as well as yesterday. I missed quite a few fairways.'' O'Hern played in the same group as compatriot Mark Hensby, who recovered from an opening 80 to card a sparkling 67.

''Mark had a great start and he putts great,'' O'Hern added.

''He played lovely today.'' Augusta National has been stretched to 7,445 yards since the 2005 tournament, making it the second longest course in major championship history.

Reuters OM VP0140

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