Rookie Fowler grabs Memorial lead

By Andrew Both

DUBLIN, Ohio (Reuters) - American Rickie Fowler fired a six-under-par 66 to grab a three-shot lead at the Memorial tournament on Friday, while world number one Tiger Woods comfortably made the cut.

The 21-year-old PGA Tour rookie shot a bogey-free round that included four birdies and an eagle on the par-five 15th. His 13-under 131 through two rounds tied the 36-hole tournament record.

"The few times I have been in contention over the last eight months or so since I turned pro, this is by far the best I've felt," Fowler told reporters.

"The game feels good, putter's working a bit, so we're having some fun. It's all about learning, and being in contention as much as possible can only help."

Rose, who had a share of the first-round lead after playing in ideal conditions, had to play the second round in blustery afternoon conditions. He more than offset a pair of bogeys with five birdies.

"I was probably more pleased with today's three-under than yesterday's seven-under. Yesterday was benign and I played well," said Rose. "Today there were a lot of challenges. Every shot was a grind. I didn't hit it as good today but there was quite a swirling wind on the back nine."

Unlike on Thursday when Woods he failed to birdie any of the four par-fives, he played the same holes in three-under on Friday with three birdies and a par.

For Woods, who failed to make the cut at the Quail Hollow Championship in April, his three-under-par round of 69 kept him five strokes clear of missing the cut.

Playing in just his fourth tournament of the year, Woods said if not for some near misses he could be closer than the 10 shots off the pace he is now

"I hit more good shots than yesterday and really putted well today. I had five lip-outs, so it could have been a pretty good number," said Woods.

Woods, in his first tournament since being sidelined with a neck injury and only his fourth since allegations of marital infidelities last year convinced him to take a self-imposed break, pointed out the lack of playing time he has had compared to his competitors.

"Here we are in June and I'm at the point most guys are beginning of the year ... So it's just one of those things where the more good shots I hit, keep building, and it's a process."

(Editing by Frank Pingue)