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May 13 2011

11:11 PM

Gay bounces back with 3-under 69

By Ward Clayton, PGATOUR.COM

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- Forgive and forget is the mantra running through Brian Gay’s head this week.

The former University of Florida golfer has 10 birdies and an eagle through two rounds of THE PLAYERS Championship to stand 4 under, six strokes behind leader David Toms. But the late stages of each round had him scratching his head for a while.

“It’s been a bit of a rollercoaster,” Gay said.

On Thursday, Gay was among the leaders at 5 under after holing out for eagle on the short par-4 12 th and making birdie at the par-3 17th. Then he came to the difficult par-4 18 th. He pulled his tee shot left into the water, took a drop into a bad lie and hit his third shot in the hazard again, resulting in a quadruple bogey-8 and a first-round 71.

“One bad swing is all that was,” Gay said.

He came back Friday “fresh and forgetting” as if his game was really the first 17 holes of Thursday. He shot a 32 on the back nine to start the day, including a birdie-birdie-birdie-par finish to flush the Thursday 8.

“The first nine holes I played unbelievable,” Gay said. “I could have birdied eight of the nine holes. The only green I missed was 14.”

The wind picked up on his next nine but Gay reached 6 under as he stood on the tee for the long par-3 eighth. He pulled his approach shot, it bounced off a hill into a back bunker with the hole cut on the front. The result: a double bogey and a second-round 69.

“This course can get you,” Gay said. “It’s tough and tricky. I’m proof of that.”

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