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March 23 2012

7:10 PM

Wagner celebrates with round of 69

By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM

ORLANDO -- Johnson Wagner's round of 69 was valuable for two reasons.

wagnermug First, it moved him up the leaderboard and left him 4 under at the midway point of the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard. Secondly, it assured him of a relatively late tee time -- and when it's your 32th birthday, that's never a bad thing.

"So I can afford a couple of celebratory glasses of wine or something," the still-mustachioed Wagner said with a smile.

Since he turned pro "I haven't had many home birthdays," Wagner acknowledged. He's either been playing at Bay Hill or in the Chitimacha Louisiana Open on the Nationwide Tour.

Maybe that's a good omen, though. In 2006, Wagner's birthday was also on a Friday -- and he went on to win at La Triomphe Country Club.

Wagner made four birdies and an eagle on Friday at Bay Hill, but he also had three bogeys. Already a winner this year, he could possibly take over the FedExCup lead if he finishes sixth or better on Sunday, depending on how the dominoes fall.

"I played really nice today," Wagner said. ".. I'm looking forward to the weekend."

But first, a few celebratory libations.

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