Paul Casey's bid for the 36-hole lead has experienced a couple of rough patches -- mainly, bogeys on the par-5 first hole (the easiest hole on the course) and another bogey on the par-4 seventh.
As of now, Garrett Willis' 9 under is looking good for the 36-hole lead. There is a slew of players on the course at 6 under (including Casey), but the course is toughing up slightly as the sun bears down on Copperhead's greens.
Is this the same course that Sean O'Hair won with a 4-under total over four rounds in 2008? Due to no wind and perfect weather conditions, players are finding the Copperhead Course downright scoreable, if that's a word (probably not).
Midway through the second round, the field is averaging 70.566 on the par-71 layout. The field averaged 70.819 in Round 1, and the scores were actually dropping in the afternoon.
The tournament record of 18-under 266, set by Vijay Singh during his epochal 2004 season, still appears to be safe ... unless Round 1 leader Paul Casey goes ultra-low again. Given the perfect conditions, it's a real possibility.
Paul Casey's 64 has been the score to beat all day in the opener of the Transitions Championship, but he didn't talk all golf on the day of the NCAA Opener and St. Patrick's Day.
On wearing green during his round: "The brighter
the green, the more luck you've got."
On why he returned to play Copperhead: "A golf course I had only been to once, but what I remembered, you know, tough ball-striker's golf course, very different from a lot of the Florida golf courses that I have played before. And got a brilliant field, as well, so there's going to be good World Ranking points."
On his Friday clothing plans: "Yeah, maybe I'll wear green again."
ON celebrating St. Patrick's Day: "No green beer. I like my beer, but not tonight."
On his NCAA bracket: "I did some for somebody. I've got no clue. I think I had Ohio State winning it. But I'm clueless."
The world's seventh-ranked player talks to the PGA TOUR Network after his 64 on Thursday:
Paul Casey is interviewed by Bill Kratzert of the PGA TOUR Network on Thursday.
Paul Casey gets to 7 under with his tee shot on the eighth, his next-to-last hole of the day:
Paul Casey hits it stiff on the eighth hole at Copperhead.
Paul Casey hasn't played much in the United States this year -- the Transitions Championship is just his fourth Stateside start -- but his 64 will be tough to beat for the overnight lead at the Copperhead Course.
Casey, who hit 15 greens, saved par on the 403-yard ninth after driving into a fairway bunker. Casey finished with a seven-birdie, no bogey day. Even with wind at a minimum, it was quite an accomplishment at Copperhead, which is still averaging over par (71.128) in Round 1.
Stay tuned for Casey's post-round comments.
DORAL, Fla. -- Lee Westwood is the only player who could overtake Martin Kaymer as the world No. 1 this week at the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship.
A win by Englishman put him back at No. 1 after a two-week absence -- even if Kaymer finishes second. A top-four finish actually could give Westwood the top spot but Kaymer's position in the tournament would obviously impact that scenario.
World No. 3 Luke Donald and Tiger Woods, who currently ranks fifth, could overtake Westwood at No. 2 if either won. Westwood, of course, would have to finish well down the field at TPC Blue Monster.
And if Paul Casey and Rory McIlroy finish third or higher, there is a chance that Europeans would own the top six spots in the world rankings. Again, this hinges on Woods and No. 6 Phil Mickelson finishing low in the tournament.
As E. Michael Johnson wrote in Golf World, TaylorMade officials had an interesting dilemma while watching the championship match of the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship.
On one side was new world No. 1 Martin Kaymer, a TaylorMade staff player. On the other side was Luke Donald, a Mizuno guy but one wielding a white R11 driver – the most important club in TaylorMade’s arsenal today. Kaymer hasn’t put that club in play yet, sticking with the R9 SuperTri.
As it turned out, of course, Donald won. Good for him and good for TaylorMade in getting its first TOUR win for the white R11. So maybe there was no dilemma after all.
● David Dusek of Golf.com peeked into players’ bags at the Accenture and found that blended iron sets are becoming commonplace. Phil Mickelson plays a Callaway X-Forged 4-iron then uses RAZR Muscle Back blades for the 5-iron through pitching wedge.
In a blended set, pros can get the forgiveness of cavity-backed longer irons while keeping blade irons for accuracy on shorter shots.
Paul Casey uses Nike VR Pro Combo long irons and VR Pro Blade mid- and short irons. Ian Poulter carries Cobra Pro CB 4- through 7-irons and Pro MB irons from 8 through pitching wedge.
● The Yes! Sophia putter Jim Furyk used to win THE TOUR Championship presented by Coca-Cola was replaced at the Accenture by an Odyssey White Ice 3 blade. Adam Scott used a 49-inch Scotty Cameron by Titleist Kombi mallet for the first time. Both lost in the first round.
● If you like to peek behind the production curtain, check out how NikeGolf makes a prototype Method putter here.
MARANA, Ariz. – For the first time since 1992, the top four players in the Official World Golf Ranking are all from Europe.
Martin Kaymer officially took over No. 1 when the rankings were released on Sunday night. Luke Donald, who beat Kaymer to win the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship, rose from ninth to third, the highest ranking of his career.
Lee Westwood, who was eliminated in the second round at Dove Mountain, fell to second. He had held the top spot for 17 weeks, after ending Tiger Woods’ reign at 281 straight weeks.
Graeme McDowell, who lost in the Accenture quarterfinals, remained at No. 4 but he is now ahead of Woods, who has dropped two spots to fifth. The last time Woods was ranked lower than third in the world was April 6, 1997 prior to his first Masters victory. A week later, Woods had climbed 10 spots to No. 3 behind Greg Norman and Tom Lehman.
The last time four Europeans led the way was on March 15, 1992 when Ian Woosnam of Wales was No. 1, England’s Nick Faldo was No. 2 and Spain’s Jose Maria Olazabal was No. 3 and Seve Ballesteros was No. 4.
Here is the new top 10 in the Official World Golf Ranking:
|4.||Graeme McDowell||Northern Ireland|
|5.||Tiger Woods||United States|
|6.||Phil Mickelson||United States|
|8.||Rory McIlroy||Northern Ireland|
|9.||Steve Stricker||United States|
|10.||Matt Kuchar||United States|