January 27 2012
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
LA JOLLA, Calif. -- Kyle Stanley’s game plan was as simple as it was effective on Friday.
"My mindset right now is I'm trying to play boring golf -- hit fairways, hit greens and make a few putts," he said almost sheepishly, and you certainly couldn't argue with the results so far here at Torrey Pines.
Stanley followed up an opening 62 by firing a solid 68 on the South Course, and he was rewarded with a one-stroke lead at the midway point of the Farmers Insurance Open. He thinks his length is an asset on the South, and the adjustment he made to his alignment on Monday continues to pay dividends.
"It's tough," Stanley said. "Like you said, you have to be patient. It's a totally different golf course, totally different set up than the North course. But I like it. I think it fits my game pretty well and I'm driving it straight right now, so that definitely helps."
Stanley, who closed with a 32 to move to 14 under, owns a one-stroke advantage over Brandt Snedeker. The Tennessean played the North Course and shot a 64 that included a stretch of five straight birdies as he made the turn and a total of nine overall.
"I'm driving the ball as good as I've ever driven it in my career, which isn't saying a lot, but it's saying enough for me right now," said Snedeker, who has hit 19 of 28 fairways over the first two rounds to rank ninth among the field. "I'm still putting the ball really, really well. So I'm excited with where I am after the first two days.
"I feel like as good as I've played, I've left a few out there, which is a good feeling to know my game is where it needs to be."
PGA TOUR rookie Sang-moon Bae and Martin Flores, who has his card for the second time, are tied at 12 under after both shot 67s on the South Course Friday. Bill Haas, the reigning FedExCup champion, and Hunter Mahan are also in double figures at 10 under.
Mahan played the North Course and shot a 65, which was the second-lowest round of the day there. Haas followed his 63 on the North with a 71 on Friday.
“I’m excited with the way I’m hitting it,” Mahan said. “Driving is going to be more important on the South side, and I think that’s going to be a strength of mine. If I can hit a lot of fairways and greens, I think I’ll have a good chance.”
The cut came at 2 under. Among the players making an early exit was local favorite Phil Mickelson, a three-time champ who shot 77-68 to miss by three shots. Also heading home were 2010 Farmers champ Ben Crane; J.B. Holmes, playing for the first time since September brain surgery; and last week’s runner-up, Robert Garrigus.