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Frustrated Woods blown away in Australia; Scott leads in Singapore

Tiger Woods hits out of the rough during his second round at the Australian Masters in Victoria on Friday.
Tiger Woods hits out of the rough during his second round at the Australian Masters in Victoria on Friday.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Tiger Woods trails Australian Masters leader Adam Bland by nine strokes
  • American struggles in windy conditions in his second round, carding one-over 72
  • Spain's Sergio Garcia climbs up leaderboard with flawless 65 to be in fourth place
  • Australia's Adam Scott leads Singapore Open by two shots at halfway stage

(CNN) -- Tiger Woods faces an uphill battle to retain his Australian Masters title after falling nine shots off the lead at the halfway stage in Melbourne.

The world No. 2 carded a disappointing one-over-par 72 in difficult conditions at Victoria Golf Club on Friday to be one-under 141 after two rounds.

The American carded four bogeys and three birdies as he trailed Australia's Adam Bland -- ranked 546th in the world and who played on the secondary U.S. Nationwide Tour this year, earning just $87,839.

Woods needed two fewer putts than his opening round, but his approach play was worse as he made only two-thirds of the 18 greens in regulation as the players battled against gusting winds and rain.

When the wind blows this hard it affects everybody. I was struggling with the swing a bit
--Tiger Woods
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He is tied for 16th in a group including fellow PGA Tour star Camilo Villegas of Colombia, who bounced back from a double-bogey at 17 to birdie 18 and sign for a 70.

''I just need to get off to a good start, making a few birdies and let the momentum of the round build. I haven't done that yet this week,'' Woods told reporters.

"It was tougher today, and when the wind blows this hard it affects everybody. I was struggling with the swing a bit today, but I was as committed to it as I possibly could -- it was just a little bit more difficult than I thought it would be, but I got through it.

"I just had a hard time on the greens again. I over-read every putt because the greens were slower than they were yesterday, and it was hard to believe that they weren't going to swing."

The 28-year-old Bland entered the tournament to try to boost his confidence ahead of his Sunday-night trip to California for the Nationwide Tour qualifying school.

Having been joint leader after an opening 65, he moved clear on his own with three birdies at the last four holes to card 67.

Bland was two shots clear of compatriot Andre Stolz, a 2004 winner on the PGA Tour making his comeback from a wrist injury who fired another 67 to move up to second place.

Britain-based Australian Daniel Gaunt dropped from a share of the lead to third place on 137 after carding 72, leaving him one shot ahead of surging Spaniard Garcia.

Garcia, who took two months off ahead of October's Ryder Cup to recharge his batteries, followed up his opening 73 with a flawless six-birdie 65 to give himself hope of a first title since November 2008.

Meanwhile, Australia's Adam Scott claimed the halfway lead at the European Tour's co-sanctioned Singapore Open on Friday.

Scott won the event in 2005 and 2006 while it was still just an Asian Tour event, and is now two shots clear of defending champion Ian Poulter of England following his second successive six-under 65.

Following a four-hour delay for rain at the Sentosa club on Thursday, most of the field completed their opening rounds on Friday.

Poulter fired a flawless eight-birdie 63 to climb up the leaderboard and claim a one-shot advantage over U.S. Open champion Graeme McDowell (68), Sweden's Fredrik Andersson-Hed (65) and South Korea's Kyung-nam Kang (67).

World No. 4 Phil Mickelson was six shots off the pace as the American carded 69 to be tied for 15th in a group including joint first-round leader Chris Wood of England (73) and European Tour money list leader Martin Kaymer of Germany (68).