Daily Wrap-up: Puerto Rico Open, Round 2text sizeMarch 08, 2013
By PGATOUR.COM wire reports
RIO GRANDE, Puerto Rico -- Andres Romero shot his second straight 7-under 65 to set a tournament record on Friday en route to taking a one-stroke lead in the Puerto Rico Open presented by seepuertorico.com.
Romero, the Argentine player who won the 2008 Zurich Classic of New Orleans, was at 14-under 130 -- which set the 36-hole scoring mark.
He had a double bogey on the par-3 eighth hole, then birdied six of the last 10 holes on the Trump International course. Returning to a center-shafted putter, he has made 16 birdies and an eagle in the first 36 holes.
"I'm just playing well. I started out very, very well," Romero said. "But really what's helped me is going back to my old putter. It's really been great for me. I had used that putter for a long time and then after awhile I changed it. And then besides playing the greens well, I'm also striking the ball well. So finally all three things have come together, putting well, hitting my irons well, driving well."
Scott Brown was second after a 63. He holed out from 170 yards for eagle on the par-4 seventh and had eight birdies and a bogey.
"I got off to just a very normal start, birdied both par 5s on the front, was hitting it good and then I holed a shot out on 7 from the fairway with a 7-iron," Brown said. "(On the par-3 eighth), I made like a 50-footer for birdie and then hit it to an inch on 9."
Steve LeBrun and 2010 U.S. Amateur champion Peter Uihlein shot 65 to reach 12 under.
"In a good position is where you want to be," LeBrun said. "You want to have a chance. Still two rounds left, but it's nice to be in position to have a chance."
Uihlein is in position to earn a spot next week in the Tampa Bay Championship with a top-10 finish. The former Oklahoma State star has played the European Tour and its developmental circuit since turning pro in December 2011. The youngest son of Acushnet chief executive Wally Uihlein, he's coming off a fourth-place finish last week in South Africa in the Tshwane Open.
Fabian Gomez was 11 under after a 64, and defending champion George McNeill also had a 64 to top the group at 9 under. Patrick Cantlay, the 20-year-old former UCLA player coming off a Web.com Tour victory Sunday in Colombia, was 7 under after a 67.
Romero is being careful not to get ahead of himself.
"I'm just going to try to keep things going, stay calm the way I've been doing," Romero said. "I think that's the most important thing, just stay calm and take it one shot at a time, try not to think about what might happen on the 72nd hole."
Brown played the Web.com Tour the last two weeks, finishing third in Panama and tying for seventh in Colombia. He tied for 30th at Pebble Beach in his only other PGA TOUR start.
"I've played really good all year," Brown said. "I haven't been making a lot of putts, but I've been hitting it really good and a lot of the putts haven't been going in, I think good putts. So I knew it was coming. This week, I just putted really well.
Trump International: Round 2 Easiest hole Toughest hole
The par-5 second and fifth were the easiest with a Friday scoring average of 4.422.
No. 2/5: Eagles: 4/4 | Birdies: 71/70 | Pars: 48/51 | Bogeys: 5/2 | Others: 0/1
The par-4 14th was the toughest with a Friday scoring average of 4.172.
Eagles: 0 | Birdies: 12 | Pars: 85 | Bogeys: 28 | Others: 3
About the leader: Andres Romero • This is the first time Andres Romero is holding the outright lead halfway through a TOUR event. He was tied for first with Cameron Percy after an opening 65 yesterday. Romero had never held a lead/co-lead after any round in 115 previous starts on TOUR.
• Romero’s total of 130 is a new tournament record for best opening 36-hole score. He went two strokes lower than previous record holder Bo Van Pelt did in 2008.
• Romero had 50 putts in two days, with only 21 on the back nine (10 yesterday and 11 today).
• Romero is looking for his first TOUR win since the 2008 Zurich Classic of New Orleans, a season in which he also claimed TOUR Rookie of the Year honors.
• Romero had missed the cut in four of his first five starts this season. His only made cut resulted in a T71 at the Northern Trust Open. Only two of his 13 rounds coming into this week were in the 60s. Last week, he missed the cut at The Honda Classic after rounds of 75-67.
• Romero is joined by his countryman Angel Cabrera (T7) in the top 10. The last time they made the top 10 during the same TOUR event was halfway through the 2007 British Open at Carnoustie. With Fabian Gomez (T4), this is the first time ever three Argentines have made the top 10 on the same TOUR event.
• Romero finished T20 in his only other start at the Puerto Rico Open in 2012.