By PGATOUR.COM staff
IRVING, Texas -- The cut tline moved from 1 under to even par on Friday afternoon at the HP Byron Nelson Championship. That allowed defending champ Jason Dufner, among others, to make the cut on the number.
Sixteen players were at even par after Friday's round, including four past winners of this event -- Dufner, 2010 champ Jason Day, 2009 champ Rory Sabbatini and 2005 champ Ted Purdy.
Dufner had to make a 4-1/2 foot par putt on the final hole late in the day Friday to secure his spot on the weekend.
Day had played in the morning and finished at even par, which at the time was not good enough to make the cut, which in the middle of the day was projected at 1 under.
Padraig Harrington and Dallas native Justin Leonard also made the cut on the number, as did Kenny Perry, a Champions Tour regular making his first TOUR start of the year.
Guan Tianlang, the 14-year-old from China, missed the cut for the first time in three PGA TOUR starts.
A total of 83 players made the cut. That's the most since 2001 when 83 players made the cut that year.
Since more than 78 players made the cut, there will be an additional cut after Saturday's third round to the top 70 and ties.
By Mike McAllister, PGATOUR.COM
IRVING, Texas -- Keegan Bradley certainly was satisfied with the course-record 60 he shot on Thursday. But he may have taken more satisfaction from Friday's second-round 1-under 69, a grinder's special that allowed him to maintain his three-shot advantage through 36 holes of the HP Byron Nelson Championship.
"I'm almost more proud of this round than yesterday because I didn't feel comfortable all day," Bradley said. "I don't know what it was. I can't put my finger on it. ... I was a little uncomfortable and then I settled it and hit some really good shots."
Following up a record round is never easy. Bradley knows that from experience. He once shot 61 at a Web.com Tour event, and shot 77 the next day.
After his round Thursday, Bradley said he received a 100 messages of congratulations from well-wishers but tried to put it in perspective.
"I don't get too caught up in it," Bradley said. "Whenever you shoot rounds like that, people make a big deal out of it, more than I do."
Still he didn't get off to a great start Friday.
Bradley has made five bogeys through the first two days at TPC Four Seasons Resort. Two of those bogeys have come at the par-4 first, and two others have come at the par-4 18th. For the middle 16 holes this week, Bradley is a cumulative 15 under.
On Friday, Bradley's opening drive missed the fairway to the left and his approach came up short of the green. He missed a putt from 6 feet, 7 inches that would have saved par.
"The first hole is probably the easiest hole out here," Bradley said. "I don't know why I keep making bogey on that hole."
Bradley birdied the fourth with a putt from just inside 9 feet, then bogeyed the sixth before birdies at the two par 5s (seventh and 16th) along with the par-4 10th.
Leading by four shots going to the 18th hole, Bradley didn't want to take any chances with water down the left side. So he bailed out again with his tee shot, just like on Thursday. His ball landed in the trees, and his low-liner under the limbs ran through the green and landed in the collection area on the other side to set up his bogey.
His caddie, Steve "Pepsi" Hale, said he might as well put a yardage plate in the trees for Bradley, given how frequently he find himself over there. But Bradley insists his problems off the 18th tee will be corrected this weekend.
"I'm going to hit good ones Saturday and Sunday," he said.
By Mike McAllister, PGATOUR.COM
IRVING, Texas -- Keegan Bradley followed his spectacular round on Thursday with a workmanlike one on Friday, carving out a 1-under 69 to maintain his three-shot lead through two rounds of the HP Byron Nelson Championship.
Bradley shot a course-record 10-under 60 in the opening round, producing one eagle and 10 birdies in the process. That round took place in the morning under favorable scoring conditions.
On Friday, Bradley and the rest of the afternoon wave played a much tougher course that was dry and firming up, with more wind. His 69 included four birdies and three bogeys, including his second consecutive bogey at the 18th hole when he bailed out on the right with his tee shot.
That was his only bogey over his last 12 holes and left him at 11 under through 36 holes.
"I'm really happy shooting 69," Bradley said. "I didn't feel real comfortable all day."
Tom Gillis and Erik Compton, going out in the morning group, shot the low round of the day, a 7-under 63 that matched their career lows.
That moved Gillis to 8 under for the tournament and puts him in position to chase his first PGA TOUR title. But he's not looking that far ahead.
"As of right now, (his score) hasn't done anything yet, other than give me a chance," Gillis said.
Tied with Gillis in second place is Sang-Moon Bae, who shot his second consecutive 66 under tougher conditions.
"Looking forward to next two rounds," Bae said.
Tied for fourth is John Huh, Ryan Palmer and Charl Schwartzel at 7 under, followed by a group of six players another shot back.
Guan Tianlang, the 14-year-old amateur from China, missed the cut after shooting a 7-over 77. Guan had made the cut at the Masters and the Zurich Classic of New Orleans.
"I won't make the cut every time," Guan said, "but I think I learned more."
Jason Dufner's putter has let him down this season. (Pennington/Getty Images)
By Fred Albers, PGATOUR.COM Correspondent
IRVING, Texas -- Jason Dufner was ready to make his move. The defending champion was putting for eagle on the seventh green from 68 feet away. Dufner had just birdied the sixth and an eagle would provide momentum for a great round. Just a two-putt birdie might lead to a string of red numbers. What happened? Dufner three-putted for par. Everyone knows he is not putting as well this year as he did in the past, ranked 153rd in strokes-gained putting after ranking 78th in 2012. However, there is a hidden stat within that number: Dufner is ranked 180th in three-putt avoidance. He has 32 three-putts this year including two this week. You simply can’t score on the PGA TOUR when you give strokes away on the greens with three-putts.
Sluggish: Keegan Bradley said he had a hard time "getting into the round." His concentration was not sharp and he said he felt sluggish the entire 18 holes. Perhaps it was the heat of the afternoon or perhaps it was the difficulty of the golf course. The greens were not as receptive as when Bradley played early Thursday morning and the wind came in swirling gusts. Golf is a game of momentum and TPC Four Seasons did not allow many players, with afternoon tee times, to get on any sort of run.
Preferred lies: It was a bit of a surprise that players were once again allowed to improve their lies. Most of the course had drained from the two-inch rains on Wednesday night but holes 11 and 14 were still soggy, so lift, clean and place was instituted throughout the golf course. It might also have been fairer to allow Friday's morning wave of players to have the same advantages as those golfers who went early on Thursday in the opening round.
Concentration: Tom Gillis walked off the ninth green with a smile on his face, even though he had just three-putted his 36th hole from 9 feet. Gillis had a putt to tie for the lead and gave it a little too much speed, lipping out on the left side. What followed was a lapse in concentration. Gillis was so focused on the birdie that he could not regain his mental edge and missed the 3-foot par putt. He may also have been tired. Gillis awoke at 3:40 a.m. and could not get back to sleep. A combination of nerves and adrenaline kept him awake, watching the clock tick away the minutes until it was time to leave for the course. To Gillis' credit, he was able to turn those nerves into a 63, despite a three-putt on his final hole.
Heat: It might have been the hottest day of the year on the PGA TOUR when you consider both temperature and humidity. The golf course was a sauna with a bright sun beating players into submission. Several golfers walked the tree line to seek out pockets of shade and everyone drank as much water as possible. The greens were watered following the second round so the putting surfaces will not be stressed this weekend.
Fred Albers is a course reporter for SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio. For more information on SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio, click here.
Zach Johnson will chase a third title at historic Colonial Country Club. (Halleran/Getty Images)
By Jeff Shain, PGATOUR.COM Correspondent
• FULL FIELD: Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial
• COURSE: Colonial Country Club, 7,204 yards, par 70. Designed by Perry Maxwell and John Bredemus, Colonial’s combination of tight fairways and doglegs has been acclaimed since its 1936 opening. The U.S. Open arrived just five years later, marking the first time the event went south of the Mason-Dixon Line, and PGA TOUR has made an annual stop since 1946. Colonial also hosted the second edition of THE PLAYERS in 1975, as well as the 1991 U.S. Women’s Open. Ten years ago, Annika Sorenstam made Colonial the site of her historic foray as the first woman to play a PGA TOUR event since 1945.
• FEDEXCUP: Winner receives 500 points.
• CHARITY: Cook Children’s Medical Center, supporting programs to ensure no child in need of medical attention is left untreated. More than 100 other Tarrant County charities receive donations from the event, with total contributions last year reaching more than $7 million.
• FIELD WATCH: Defending champion Zach Johnson and runner-up Jason Dufner are among eight entrants ranked among the top 30 in this week’s world rankings. With Europe’s top talent overseas for that tour’s flagship event, No.12 Matt Kuchar holds the highest ranking in the field. … Davis Love III, runner-up in both 1987 and 2000, makes his 24th appearance at Colonial and second since coming back from February neck surgery. Love tied for 48th at THE PLAYERS. … U.S. Amateur champ Steven Fox will play on a sponsor exemption for the fourth time this year. He missed the cut in his first three tries, including the Masters. … 1987 champion Keith Clearwater is back to tee it up at Colonial for the 26th time.
• 72-HOLE RECORD: 259, Zach Johnson (2010).
• 18-HOLE RECORD: 61, Keith Clearwater (2nd round, 1993), Lee Janzen (4th round, 1993), Greg Kraft (3rd round, 1999), Kenny Perry (3rd round, 2003), Justin Leonard (4th round, 2003), Chad Campbell (3rd round, 2004).
• LAST YEAR: An absentminded Johnson had just enough cushion to absorb a two-stroke penalty after his final putt, winning in far stranger fashion than two years earlier. Johnson had moved his mark on the 18th green to get it out of Dufner’s line, then forgot to replace it before going through his own putting routine. It was CBS course reporter Peter Kostis who pointed out the error, which was relayed to Johnson before he signed his scorecard. Otherwise, Johnson could have been disqualified for signing off on a wrong score. Johnson may have been lost in the emotion of the victory, which came 10 days after caddie Damon Green’s father passed away.
• STORYLINES: After two wins and finishing sixth in last year’s FedExCup race, Johnson has been unable to match that form in 2013. A tie for 19th at THE PLAYERS was his best finish since the season opener, as he tries to straighten out some wayward driving. … Only one player has managed to sweep both the Byron Nelson and Colonial titles in the same year. Ben Hogan did it in 1946, though the events were separated by four months then. Dufner’s runner-up finish last year was the closest to a sweep in back-to-back weeks.
• SHORT CHIPS: Each of the past four Colonial champions have come from behind on the final day, with Johnson overcoming a one-shot deficit to Dufner last year. Before that was a seven-year run in which the 54-hole leader always closed the door. … Kuchar has yet to miss a cut in six visits to Colonial, topped by a ninth-place finish in 2008. ... Tournament officials will honor late CBS broadcaster Pat Summerall during Saturday’s telecast, including a $30,000 gift to The First Tee of Fort Worth. Summerall, who died last month, lived in nearby Southlake.
• TELEVISION: Thursday-Friday, 3-6 p.m. EDT (Golf Channel). Saturday-Sunday, 1-2:30 p.m. (GC), 3-6 p.m. (CBS).
• RADIO: Thursday-Sunday, noon-6 p.m. EDT (SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio).
IRVING, Texas -- Tournament leader Keegan Bradley rolled in a 9-foot birdie putt at the par-4 10th and is now 11 under for the tournament and 1 under on his second round through 14 holes Friday at the HP Byron Nelson Championship.
IRVING, Texas -- Following his second-round 64 on Friday at the HP Byron Nelson Championship, John Huh reflected on his play with Will Haskett from SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio. Huh is at 7 under through 36 holes.
IRVING, Texas -- Matt Kuchar sank a 17-foot eagle putt on the par-5 7th hole during Friday's second round of the HP Byron Nelson Championship. Kuchar made the turn on Friday 1 under on his round and 2 under for the tournament.
By Mike McAllister, PGATOUR.COM
IRVING, Texas -- Tom Gillis had some disagreements with his swing coach Jeff Leishman earlier this year and decided to step away to work on his own for a couple of months.
Did the move pay off?
Uh, not really.
"Kind of got lost," Gillis said. "Fortunately he was nice enough to take me back."
Being reunited with Leishman seems to be paying dividends for the 44-year-old Gillis. He tied his career low round on the PGA TOUR with a 7-under 63 in Friday's second round of the HP Byron Nelson Championship.
That left him at 8 under for the tournament and in great shape to chase after his first TOUR win this weekend.
Gillis entered this week having missed five consecutive cuts and eight total out of 11 starts this year. Being back with Leishman -- who is based in Jupiter, Fla., and has worked with Gillis for five years -- provided a calming influence.
"I felt like I was back to the old stuff, normal, the way it was," said Gillis, who's best finish this year was a tie for 25th at The Honda Classic. "I think that relaxed me, and when you're relaxed, you play good."
Gillis opened with a 1-under 69 on Thursday as part of the afternoon wave that faced tougher scoring conditions. Gillis was glad to see preferred lies and benign conditions in effect for the second round, and he took advantage by hitting 12 fairways and 13 greens while needing just 24 putts.
There was only one stumble on Gillis' round. Through 17 holes -- he started his round off the 10th tee -- he was a bogey-free 8 under for the day, one of his birdies coming from a putt of nearly 42 feet at the second hole.
But after a nice approach shot at the par-4 ninth left him 9 feet from another birdie and a round of 61, Gillis three-putted from that distance to drop a stroke.
"I just gave it a little too much speed," he said. "I think I probably lost concentration on the comebacker, so I guess that happens."
Back with his coach, though, Gillis doesn't anticipate many lapses of concentration going forward. He also doesn't expect any more disagreements with Leishman.
"I think he was right all along, to be honest with you," Gillis said.