Last week, Garth Mulroy got his second career win on the Nationwide Tour. This week he’s trying to get his first on the PGA TOUR.
Thursday he took a took a step in that direction with a 3-under 67 that has him near the top of the leaderboard at the HP Byron Nelson Championship.
Clearly, Mulroy carried over some positive momentum from last week’s BMW Charity Pro-Am, which he won in a playoff.
At TPC Four Seasons in Thursday’s opening round, Mulroy made six birdies -- and three bogeys -- in what is just his third start on the PGA TOUR this season. He’s also well ahead of the other two since he withdrew from one and missed the cut in the other.
Mulroy also has five starts on the Nationwide Tour, where he has three top-25s, including that victory.
This week’s Kodak Challenge hole is the 347-yard, par-4 17th at TPC San Antonio. This is the second year that the course has hosted the Valero Texas Open, so there’s not much data on which players you should expect to do well at the 17th.
But here’s a look at the players in this week’s field who fared the best last year at the 17th.
17TH AT TPC SAN ANTONIO – 2010 LEADERS
|Player||Relation to Par||Rounds||Eagles||Birdies||Pars||Bogeys|
|J.B. Holmes||3 under||4||-||3||1||-|
|Garth Mulroy||3 under||4||-||3||1||-|
|Tim Petrovic||3 under||4||-||3||1||-|
A LOOK AT THE 17TH
James Driscoll had a chance to tie for the lead at 7 under, until he failed to get up-and-down from just off the ninth green, where he went on to make bogey after missing a 6-footer for par. Up until that point, Driscoll had been bogey free the entire round. Still, he’s in good shape just one shot back with 36 holes to play.
The most improbable story so far, though, has been Garth Mulroy, who, like Driscoll, is 6 under through two rounds. The South African has missed seven of eight cuts on the PGA TOUR this season and the one cut he did make, he shot 80 in the final round. He’s had success before, however, racking up five top-10s, including a win, on his way to finishing 14th on last year’s Nationwide Tour money list. Now he’ll get a chance to cash perhaps the biggest check of his career after making just his second cut of the year. -- Brian Wacker
Charley Hoffman stumbled in, missing the green on his approach to the par-4 ninth, then failed to get up-and-down to save par. Still, his 4-under 68 leaves him just two shots off the lead late in the opening round at TPC San Antonio. Hoffman wasn’t exactly a picture of accuracy out there, hitting just 43 percent of his greens in regulation and just over 55 percent of his fairways, but he also took just 25 putts. Hoffman isn’t exactly known as a great putter, but he got the ball up-and-down well enough on most of his holes to get in the house with a good number.
Meanwhile, San Antonio resident Jimmy Walker is 3 under with two holes left in his round. Arjun Atwal and Garth Mulroy are at that number, too, with four holes to play. Mulroy has made just one cut in eight events this season, but that came just two weeks ago at Quail Hollow so maybe he has at least a little momentum going for him. -- Brian Wacker