September 23 2011
By Mike McAllister, PGATOUR.COM
ATLANTA -- K.J. Choi usually spends about 30 minutes on the putting green before his round. On Friday, he pushed his practice session to 45 minutes.
The move paid off.
Choi, winner of THE PLAYERS Championship earlier this year, was much more effective on East Lake's greens in Friday's second round than he was in the first round. And thanks to his 5-under 65, Choi is now in position to make a run this weekend at both the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola and the FedExCup. He entered this week ranked 13th in points and would need to win the event and hope other scenarios fall into place in order to win the FedExCup.
"Today, I spent a little longer on the putting green," said Choi, who is in second place, one stroke behind leader Adam Scott, going into Saturday's third round. "Normally I have trouble reading lies on this course, lies and the speed of the putt. So that's what I focused on today."
Choi gained 1.1 strokes on the field on Friday, according to the TOUR's primary putting statistic, Strokes Gained-Putting. In the first round, Choi gave away 1.237 strokes to the field while shooting a 2-under 69.
Inside 10 feet, Choi made all 17 of his attempts on Friday; the previous day, he missed four of 20 attempts from that distance.
Of course, it helps that Choi's irons were on fire Friday. He led the field in proximity to the hole on Friday and didn't need to hole any super-long putts.
"I definitely had good rhythm today," Choi said. "Good rhythm leads to great confidence. ... "It's important to try to keep that rhythm and take it onto the golf course when you're playing, and I think that's what I was able to do today."