Texas A&M graduate Ryan Palmer holds/shares the 36-hole lead for only the third time in his career. Palmer led by one shot over three others at the 2008 Gin sur Mer Classic and went on to win by a stroke. He also held a one-shot lead over four players at the 2010 Sony Open in Hawaii and went on to win that event by a single stroke as well. Palmer recorded a 3-under 67 on Friday in his 15th start of the season. Currently No. 46 on the FedExCup points list, he owns two top-10 finishes this season (4th – Bob Hope Classic, T10 – Masters Tournament). One of the local favorites this week at the TPC Four Seasons Resort, the 34-year-old native of Amarillo, TX has typically struggled at the event. In seven previous starts, Palmer owns just one made cut (T73 – 2006). His 65 on Thursday topped his previous-best round at the HP Byron Nelson Championship of 67 in 2005 (missed the cut).
Sergio Garcia posted his second straight 4-under 66 today and moved into a share of the 36-hole lead with Ryan Palmer at 8-under 132. Garcia won this event in 2004, posting a 10-under 270 total and eventually topping Dudley Hart and Robert Damron in a playoff. This is Garcia’s 11th start in this event but his first since 2008. He has made the cut in seven of his previous 10 tries and also has a T3 (1999) and a T8 (2001) finish here. Sergio Garcia’s career-low, 36-hole score is 11-under 129, which came at this event in 1999. Garcia posted scores of 62-67 and was one shot back of the leaders. He went on to finish T3 that year, his first at this event. His 132 thus far matches the fourth-best 36-hole total of his TOUR career (217 previous starts).
Joe Ogilvie reeled off three consecutive birdies on the back nine today to reach
7-under par but double-bogeyed the par-4, 14th hole and then suffered bogeys at Now. 16 and 17 to wind up with an even-par 70. Ogilvie is T5 heading into the weekend and looking for his first top-10 finish of the year.
Keegan Bradley (66-71) is currently T8 heading into Saturday’s third round. Bradley, a rookie on the PGA TOUR this year, is making his 16th start. He has a pair of top-10 finishes to his credit thus far – T7 Bob Hope Classic, T9 Valero Texas Open. Bradley is the nephew of LPGA Hall of Famer Pat Bradley.
Jordan Spieth, a 17-year old high school senior, has posted scores of 69-68—137 (-3) and will head into the weekend tied for eighth. Spieth’s graduation ceremonies at Jesuit College Prepatory School in Dallas are scheduled for 4 pm (CT). Spieth, who will play college golf at the University of Texas, finished T16 in this event last year, the best finish by an amateur in the tournament’s 44-year history. Spieth, former U.S. Junior Amateur Champion, is making headlines again this year, just as he did in 2010 when he carded scores of 68-69-67-72 and finished T16.
A win on Sunday by Spieth would give him the opportunity to accept membership on the TOUR on his 18th birthday in July. Once 18, he would have 60 days to accept membership, which would then run until the end of the 2013 season. Even without membership on the PGA TOUR, a win would gain Spieth entrance into the following events in 2011: the Memorial Tournament, AT&T National and the PGA Championship. He would then have a spot in the following events in 2012: Hyundai Tournament of Champions, Bob Hope Classic, Arnold Palmer Invitational, Masters Tournament, Heritage, THE PLAYERS Championship and the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial. A non-member is allowed 12 starts in a season, with a maximum of seven sponsor’s exemptions among that total.
Nick Watney, winner of the WGC-Cadillac Championship, moved into contention today with his second consecutive round of 68. Watney opened the year with five consecutive top-10 finishes and is coming off a T4 effort in his last start, The PLAYERS Championship two weeks ago. Watney is the highest ranked player in the FedExCup point standings (No. 6) this week.
Matt Kuchar posted rounds of 69-71—140 (even par) and will be around for the weekend. Kuchar extends his current streak of consecutive cuts made to 27. He is now 13 for 13 in 2011. The last time Kuchar missed a cut was at the 2010 Wells Fargo Championship.
A total of 74 players made the 36-hole cut, which came at 3-over-par 143.
Ryan Palmer -8
Sergio Garcia -8
Tim Petrovic -5
Scott Piercy -5
Nick Watney -4
Joe Ogilvie -4
Chad Collins -4
Six players tied at -3
Click for our Day 2 Photo Gallery
Click for our Day 1 Photo Gallery