Carl Pettersson has joined Vaughn Taylor and Joe Durant at the top of the Zurich Classic of New Orleans leaderboard.
Pettersson and Taylor have each completed 11 holes this afternoon; the former starting on the front and the latter on the back nine. Neither has made a bogey at TPC Louisiana.
Durant is safely in the clubhouse.
John Rollins and Bubba Watson are also making moves this afternoon. Both are 4 under, Rollins through 12 holes and Watson through 10.
Vaughn Taylor is leading the afternoon portion of the draw at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans.
The Georgian, who has two PGA TOUR victories, both of which came in Reno, has birdied four of his first eight holes. Taylor, who is currently 4 under, is looking to end a six-year victory drought.
Carl Pettersson and Ben Crane are 3 under through eight and six holes, respectively. Crane also has hit five more fairways -- which means another $500 for the St. Bernard Project that helps rebuild homes destroyed by Hurricane Katrina.
Vaughn Taylor had a wild round of seven birdies and three bogeys in Thursday’s opening round, but he said he likes putting on slow greens, which TPC San Antonio has at least in a relative sense. That was evident by the 25 putts he took in the opening round (Taylor also switched to a TaylorMade Ghost putter a couple of weeks ago). To see what else Taylor had to say about his round, click here .
J.J. Henry still has the lead after an opening-round 67 earlier today, but players are lining up behind him with Charley Hoffman, Jhonattan Vegas and Vaughn Taylor all in the clubhouse with 68s.
Rookie Joseph Bramlett is also 4 under and has three holes to play.
By Melanie Hauser, PGATOUR.COM Correspondent
HUMBLE, Texas -- To this day, Anthony Kim has no clue how he won last year’s Shell Houston Open.
Yes, he beat Vaughn Taylor in a playoff. But how he got there in the first place? Still a mystery.
After all, he had a bum thumb and hit just 30 percent of his fairways.
“I don't know how it happened,’’ Kim said, drawing a laugh. “I did a lot of praying before I went to bed at night, obviously. But it was just a culmination of good putting and a great attitude that helped me win last year, and I'm going the try to come in with the same attitude and hopefully hit some better golf shots. And who knows, I could play better this year and score worse. It's a funny and fickle game. I'm going to go out there with the same attitude.’’
And an invigorated -- for lack of a better word -- game.
He’s worked hard during a five-day stretch in Dallas last week with coach Adam Schrieber and changed a few things.
“I told him when he first got to Dallas I don't want to work and put Band-Aids on my swing,’’ Kim said. “I want to get down to my grip, to my posture, to everything that any beginning golfer would start with. I think that really helped get me back in the mindset of playing golf again and enjoying being out there instead of just trying to put Band-Aids on hooks and try to hit big slices to keep it in the fairway.
“ …Yesterday hitting the golf ball, golf became fun again. I felt like I was 11, enjoyed being out there, and hopefully it will show this week.’’
Kim admits he’s grown up. And he needed to. He’s more even-keel on the course now and it shows.
“It's been tough,’’ he said. “I've had a good attitude as far as not having any temper tantrums or getting frustrated outwardly where other people can see. But obviously inside I'm a competitor and I want to win and I want to give myself chances to win, so I do get frustrated. It's hard hitting golf shot after golf shot and not know where it's going. This is a new week.’’
Kim has just one top-10 this season -- a T6 at the Farmers Insurance Open -- but he’s ready to play catch up with the rest of the young guns on the PGA TOUR.
“Well, I mean, I guess by age we are younger, but I don't read too much into it,’’ he said. “I try to stay away from reading about myself unless it's really, really negative buzz that fires me up. I just -- I'm worried about getting better ever year. I'm out here, and unfortunately I've had a lot of highs and a lot of lows. But I'm trying to grow through those times. I'm trying to build on certain things that when my game does get in a bad position that I can grow from that and when I come back, I can be a better player from it.
“I think this injury long-term will help me. My short game, my course management has gotten a lot better. When my long game comes back like I know that it can, I'll be a more complete player.’’
Here’s a look at some numbers on this week’s Shell Houston Open at Redstone:
-- Twenty-one times the Shell Houston Open has been decided in a playoff, dating back to 1946. That’s more than any event on the PGA TOUR except for the U.S. Open (32). Last year, Anthony Kim defeated Vaughn Taylor on the third extra hole, ending Taylor’s chances for qualifying for the Masters.
-- The 488-yard par-4 18 th hole at Redstone Golf Club’s Tournament Course ranked as the 20 th-most difficult hole on the TOUR in 2010 with the field averaging 4.317. In the five years the event has been contested on the Tournament Course, only one champion (Johnson Wagner/2007) has played the 18 th hole under par for the week.
-- Steve Marino, who finished second at the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard,is 12 th in the current FedExCup standings -- the highest among those players without a win on TOUR in 2011.
-- Transitions winner Gary Woodland will play in the Shell Houston Open Wednesday Pro-Am with Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic from ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike show as part of a Shell initiative to support the V Foundation for Cancer Research. Shell has auctioned off two Wednesday Pro-Am spots with the winners (Lew and Pauline Peters of Lowell, Mass.) playing with Greenberg, Golic and Woodland. The auction was held on March 9 and raised $43,750 ($18,750 from the auction and $25,000 donated from Shell). In three years, this program has contributed $139,750 to the V Foundation for Cancer Research. Mike & Mike will broadcast their show Wednesday morning live from the Shell Houston Open prior to playing in the pro-am.
-- Jose Maria Olazabal, who has been battling a re-occurrence of rheumatoid arthritis, will be making his first start of the year on TOUR in Houston. The 2012 European Ryder Cup Captain will play with 2012 U.S. Ryder Cup Captain Davis Love III and 2011 Bob Hope Classic champion Jhonattan Vegas in the first two rounds.
ORLANDO, Fla. -- Rickie Fowler has some built in karma working for him this week at Bay Hill, where he won an AJGA event in 2006 beating out guys like Kyle Stanley, Sam Saunders and Peter Uihlein.
After three birdies over his first four holes, Fowler’s in position to challenge for a much bigger title this week. He stuck his approach shot on the first hole to set up an easy birdie then sank one from off the green on the par-3 second. Fowler added another birdie two holes later on the par-5 fourth.
Unfortunately for Fowler, though, he just gave some of that back by hitting his tee shot in the water on the par-5 sixth hole.
Meanwhile, Tiger Woods has had a roller-coaster round so far. He bogeyed the opening hole after missing the fairway and then hitting into a greenside bunker but bounced back with a birdie on the par-5 fourth. Woods gave it right back, though with a bogey on No. 5 before rolling in a 12-footer for eagle one hole later.
Others in contention, like K.J. Choi and Hunter Mahan, haven’t been as fortunate. They are 1 and 2 over through four and five holes, respectively, and sliding down the leaderboard. Jason Dufner and Vaughn Taylor have also struggled. Dufner is 1 over through six and Taylor 3 over through five. -- Brian Wacker
ORLANDO, Fla. -- What do most of the players at or near the top of the leaderboard have in common? They’ve all been very good around the green this week in terms of getting up and down. That includes leader Martin Laird, who is fourth in the field in terms of scrambling at 80 percent. -- Brian Wacker
Scrambling leaders through two rounds
|Spencer Levin||92 percent – 1st||T2|
|K.J. Choi||82 percent – T2||T2|
|Charles Howell III||82 percent – T2||T4|
|Martin Laird||80 percent – T4||1st|
|Vaughn Taylor||80 percent – T4||T4|
Here are some FedExCup notes for the players in the final five groups in Sunday’s final round:
MARTIN LAIRD: Currently 95th in the standings, Laird is looking to take the No. 1 spot in the standings with a win. Laird was one of 15 players who played their way into the Deutsche Bank Championship from outside the cut line in 2008 with a T7 finish at The Barclays. This year, Laird has ranked outside the top five for the last 32 consecutive weeks of the regular season.
DUSTIN JOHNSON: Johnson is one of six players to have held No. 1 spot in the standings at any point during the 2010 regular season (weeks 6 – 9). Johnson has not ranked worse than 14th since week No. 4 of the regular season (29 consecutive weeks inside the top 15).
JASON DAY: Currently 28th in the standings, Day is the second-highest ranked Australian in the FedExCup standings (behind Robert Allenby). Day could potentially move to first in the standings Sunday with a win.
ADAM SCOTT: Currently 32nd in the standings, Scott could potentially take the No. 1 spot in the standings with a win. Entering the 2009 Barclays, Scott ranked 116th in the standings and this year he ranks 32nd. This is an 84-spot improvement and the second largest improvement among players in the 125 in both years.
JUSTIN ROSE: One of five players on TOUR this season with multiple wins (2). Entering the 2010 Playoffs, Rose is the No. 5 seed in the standings. This is an 86-spot improvement over his 2009 standing upon entering the Playoffs and the largest improvement among players in the 125 both years.
RYAN PALMER: One of six players to have held the No. 1 spot in the standings at any point during the 2010 regular season (weeks 2 and 3). After ranking inside the top 30 for the first 21 weeks of the regular season, Palmer fell outside after missing five consecutive cuts. However, Palmer righted the ship with a runner-up at the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational, moving back inside the top 30 entering the Playoffs.
MATT KUCHAR: Currently ninth in the standings,
Kuchar is the second-highest ranked player on TOUR
without a win this year (behind Jeff Overton). Kuchar has a TOUR-leading and career-best nine top 10s in his 21 starts of the 2010 regular season. Kuchar has not ranked worse than 12th in the standings in the 33 weeks of the regular season.
JOHN SENDEN: Currently 99th in the standings, Senden is looking to move inside the top 30 for the first time this season with a fourth or better finish. Senden has ranked outside the top 30 for the first 33 weeks of the regular season.
VAUGHN TAYLOR: Currently 38th in the standings, Taylor has ranked inside the top 100 during all 33 weeks of the regular season. His lowest rank came during week No. 7 where he dropped to 84th. Taylor could move inside the top five with a T2 or better finish today.
KEVIN STREELMAN: Streelman began the 2008 Playoffs in the 102nd spot and is also ranked 102nd entering this week's Barclays. Streelman made the largest move of the 2008 Barclays (65 spots, from 102nd to 37th).
It’s going to be that kind of day. Jason Day has just teed off but he already has company at the top of the leaderboard.
Vaughn Taylor, playing in Saturday’s penultimate group with Stewart Cink, rolled in a 12-footer for birdie on his first hole. That put Taylor at 8 under along with Day as the third round begins to heat up.