Daily Wrap-up: AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, Round 2February 08, 2013
PGATOUR.COM wire reports
PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. -- Brandt Snedeker goes into the weekend at Pebble Beach with another chance to win, this time without golf's biggest stars in his way.
Snedeker, the reigning FedExCup champion, played bogey-free at tough Spyglass Hill on Friday for a 4-under 68, giving him a share of the lead with Ted Potter Jr. in the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. Potter three-putted his final hole at Monterey Peninsula for a 67.
Hunter Mahan was among those one shot behind. With one more round before everyone has played all three courses in the rotation, the leaderboard was a big traffic jam. Three dozen players were within five shots of the lead.
Snedeker, who was at 8-under 134, felt he was at an advantage because he goes to Pebble Beach for the final two rounds.
And there's one other edge for his psyche -- Tiger Woods isn't playing, and defending champion Phil Mickelson is six shots behind.
Snedeker has played so well this year that he is leading the FedExCup standings without having won. He was runner-up the last two weeks -- four shots behind Woods at the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines, and then four shots behind Mickelson in the Waste Management Phoenix Open.
"Keep running into guys who are or who are going to be in the Hall of Fame," Snedeker said at the start of the week.
Mickelson, going after a record-tying fifth win in the event, was easing his way into contention until he made three bogeys in a four-hole stretch along the ocean at Spyglass Hill for a 71.
Snedeker made it look easy at Spyglass, even though the day began in rugged conditions with a light rain and temperatures in the low 40s. He hit a towering 8-iron on the downhill, par-3 12th hole that plopped 3 feet next to the cup for his first birdie. He added a pair of simple up-and-down birdies on the par 5s and then closed out a solid day with an 8-iron to 5 feet on the eighth hole.
Snedeker sees the upside of his two second-place finishes: At least he's giving himself a chance.
"That's how you win out here," he said. "You keep putting yourself in position, and the more times you do, the more success you're going to have. ... I'm doing a better job this week of making my way around the golf courses and not putting myself in bad spots and getting out of tough situations very quickly."
His goal for the last two days?
"Not do anything stupid," he said. "Unfortunately, I don't do it very often."
Potter remains somewhat of a mystery. He won last year in his rookie season at The Greenbrier Classic to claim a peculiar footnote in history -- the only player to win a PGA TOUR event in which Woods and Mickelson missed the cut. Still, his performance has been spotty. Potter missed nine out of the 12 cuts going into The Greenbrier, and then missed four out of nine cuts after his win.
"It's just a funny game like that," Potter said. "Some weeks you play really well and you get the right kicks and everything goes well. And then there are weeks you can still hit the ball well and get the bad kicks."
It's been good so far on the Monterey Peninsula, which has been graced with surprisingly good weather. Even though the cold rain finally arrived, it didn't last long. The sun broke through about three hours into the round, and by late afternoon, the Pacific was gleaming.
Fredrik Jacobson had the low round of the day, a 66 at Pebble Beach that put him in the group at 7 under with Mahan, John Merrick and Patrick Reed.
Saturday's forecast is for more sunshine, giving those in the Northeast who are snowed in some pretty pictures on television. Snedeker is part of the celebrity rotation, meaning he will join the circus -- Bill Murray, Ray Romano and the rest of their Hollywood crew, along with star power from other sports such as Aaron Rodgers, Tony Romo, Matt Cain and even San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh.
Five days after a Super Bowl loss, Harbaugh had reason to smile. He was leading the Pro-Am portion of the tournament. Harbaugh is playing with
Jason Day of Australia, who made a late string of birdies for a 68 at Spyglass Hill and was two shots behind.
Mahan lost a stroke on the spongy greens. He went to knock in a short bogey putt on the par-3 seventh hole when the ball moved on him.
"It just rolled over in like a heel print or something," Mahan said. "I didn't feel like I moved it. I didn't feel like I had anything much to do with it moving. It's just a rub of the green, so had to go back and take a penalty. That was frustrating, because I was hitting it so good."
Mickelson was equally frustrated by throwing away some careless shots. While he was tied for 39th, Mickelson didn't feel out of contention.
"I love Pebble Beach. I've played well there and I'm only one good round away," he said. "If I can shoot something in the mid-60s, I'll be right there for Sunday's round, which is what I care about."
Mickelson was six shots behind going into the final round last year when he won. That was against Charlie Wi, still searching for his first TOUR win. At the top now is Snedeker, the second-highest ranked American behind Woods who is averaging 66.5 in his last eight rounds.
DIVOTS: Geoff Ogilvy's hopes of qualifying for the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship took a big hit when he twice missed par putts inside 2 feet and three-putted for par from 25 feet on the sixth hole at Pebble. He had a 74 and was tied for 108th. He likely needs to finish fifth to move into the top 64. ... Lee Westwood, in his AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am debut playing with his father, had a 70 at Monterey Peninsula and was four shots behind.
Pebble Beach Golf Links: Round 2 Easiest hole Toughest hole
The par-5 second was the easiest with a Saturday scoring average of 4.462.
Eagles: 5 | Birdies: 21 | Pars: 23 | Bogeys: 3 | Others: 0
The par-3 12th was the toughest with a Saturday scoring average of 3.308.
Eagles: 0 | Birdies: 2 | Pars: 32 | Bogeys: 18 | Others: 0
Spyglass Hill Golf Club: Round 2 Easiest hole Toughest hole
The par-5 first was the easiest with a Friday scoring average of 4.712.
Eagles: 1 | Birdies: 15 | Pars: 34 | Bogeys: 2 | Others: 0
The par-4 16th was the toughest with a Friday scoring average of 4.404.
Eagles: 0 | Birdies: 0 | Pars: 33 | Bogeys: 17 | Others: 2
Monterey Peninsula Country Club: Round 2 Easiest hole Toughest hole
The par-5 10th was the easiest with a Friday scoring average of 4.692.
Eagles: 3 | Birdies: 17 | Pars: 26 | Bogeys: 5 | Others: 1
The par-4 16th was the toughest with a Friday scoring average of 4.308.
Eagles: 0 | Birdies: 3 | Pars: 34 | Bogeys: 12 | Others: 3
About the leaders: Brandt Snedeker, Ted Potter Jr. • Brandt Snedeker, the current FedExCup points leader, is the eighth player since 1990 to finish runner-up in back-to-back weeks on the PGA TOUR. Mark Calcavecchia finished second in three consecutive weeks in 1990.
• This marks the seventh time Snedeker has held at least a share of the 36-hole lead on TOUR, most recently at the 2012 British Open (finished T3). He has yet to carry the 36-hole lead on to victory.
• In five AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am starts, a T21 in 2010 is the best of Snedeker’s three made cuts.
• Last week, Snedeker (24-under 260) posted the lowest four-round total in the history of the Waste Management Phoenix Open that didn’t win the event.
• In his 17 rounds thus far in 2013, Snedeker has 14 rounds in the 60s. With his 68 on Friday, he is now 31/35 for subpar rounds in official TOUR events, dating to the start of the Wyndham Championship in August of last year.
• Despite offsetting an opening-hole eagle (No. 10) with two consecutive bogeys on Nos. 14 & 15, Ted Potter Jr. carded a second-round 3-under 67 at Monterey Peninsula Country Club to move to 8-under 134 through two rounds of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. • Potter, a 29-year-old native of Ocala, Fla., missed the cut at the 2012 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am with rounds of 77-72-74. • Potter’s lone top-10 finish on the PGA TOUR (this week marks his 29th start) was his victory at the 2012 Greenbrier Classic. He owns two top-30 finishes in three starts this season, finishing T24 at the Waste Management Phoenix Open and T26 at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions. • With the exception of leading at the conclusion of the 2012 Greenbrier Classic, this marks the first time Potter has led after a round on the PGA TOUR.