June 10 2011
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
Two years ago, Robert Karlsson was losing the vision on his left eye because of a rare condition that he still takes special eye drops for. The Swede couldn’t read the lines on his putts and everything was blurry.
Since being treated, however, Karlsson’s sight has been much better, and at least in Memphis so has his play.
A year ago, Karlsson was part of a three-man playoff at TPC Southwind, where he eventually lost to Lee Westwood on the fourth extra hole. Today, he’s trying to make sure there is no need for a playoff.
Karlsson is 9 under for the week -- including 5 under through his first 12 holes -- and at the moment is four shots clear of his closest competitor.
”It's great to be back here,” Karlsson said after his opening-round 66. “I do like the golf course.
“I learned quite quickly that you want to stay out of the rough and play the course from tee to green. Stay in the fairway as much as possible. You can't stop the ball from the rough.”
Karlsson hasn’t done a great job of avoiding the rough -- he’s hit 15 of 24 fairways -- but he has done an excellent job of recovering from it, hitting 23 of 32 greens in regulation so far.
The Swede is also putting well -- something that was almost impossible a couple of years ago -- and that’s as big a reason he’s in the position he is as anything.
As for overnight leader David Mathis, he hasn’t been able to take advantage of an early tee time. He’s just even par through his first nine holes.
Ditto defending champion Lee Westwood, who is even par for the tournament and 1 over through 13 holes here in the second round.