Garrett Willis has already dropped a shot on the lead with a bogey on the first hole at TPC Southwind, where he failed to get up-and-down from just off the green 42 feet away.
Only one other time has Willis held a 36-hole lead on the PGA TOUR, at the 2007 Frys.com Open -- a tournament he won in 2001 when he was tied for 20th at the halfway mark.
He doesn’t exactly have a stellar record here, either. In seven previous starts at the St. Jude Classic presented by Smith & Nephew, Willis has made the cut three times with his best finish a tie for 19th. Willis has made it to the weekend in nine of his 12 starts in 2010 with his best finish a tie for 13th last month at the Valero Texas Open. -- Brian Wacker
The second round ended much the way the first round did, with Lee Westwood on top. Only this time he has company in the form of Garrett Willis, who shot a bogey-free 65 Friday to pull even at 9 under after two rounds. Westwood, for those keeping score at home, shot 68 Friday -- a score that would have been higher if not for three straight birdies to close.
“It was tricky out there this afternoon,” Westwood said. “The wind got up and it was gusty. It was a day of patience. The greens were firming up as they do in the afternoons.
“I birdied the last three holes and had a chance at 15, too. It’s a great way to finish off the day. It sends you into tomorrow with momentum.”
Willis, by the way, ended his day similarly, birdieing three of his last four holes. And despite that afternoon wind, Willis was spot on all the way around the course, missing just two fairways and two greens all day. He did need 30 putts, but that was about the only thing that wasn’t near perfect. Of course, when you hit as many greens as he did, it’s not so bad either.
“A lot of people ask me what have I done differently,” said Willis. “I played pretty consistently. It doesn’t feel like my game is any different or any better or worse.
“It’s been a long lesson. I’ve played some pretty decent golf on both [the Nationwide and PGA TOUR] and haven’t really been rewarded by the scores. Like earlier this year, I was leading in Tampa. I got a little impatient and ended up shooting 4 over on the back nine because I couldn’t stand to continue to make pars.”
Friday, that certainly wasn’t a problem. -- Brian Wacker