March 16 2012
PALM HARBOR, Fla. -- The second round of the Transitions Championship is in the books. See below for the latest news, updates and more from throughout the day.
IN-ROUND UPDATES (All times ET)
7 p.m.: Jason Dufner has yet to make a bogey through his first two rounds here and after a second-straight 66 Friday to take the lead at the Transitions Championship. Meanwhile, William McGirt had pulled within one of Dufner’s lead, but a bogey on his 16th hole (No. 7 here) dropped him back to 8 under and two back.
6 p.m.: Padraig Harrington was a dozen shots worse on Friday, shooting a 2-over 73 to drop back to 8 under and out of the lead only a day after setting the course record at the Copperhead Course at Innisbrook. Unlike his opening round when he made seemingly everything with his putter, including a 75-footer at one point, he made very little Friday, missing four putts from inside 10 feet. In all, Harrington took 33 putts.
5:30 p.m.: And now Padraig Harrington’s lead is completely gone. He just bogeyed the sixth hole -- his 15th of the day -- after missing a 2-footer to save par. Harrington has two bogeys and just one birdie so far today.
5:05 p.m.: Padraig Harrington’s lead is officially gone. Jason Dufner just birdied the par-5 11th to get to 10 under and pull even with Harrington, who hasn’t been able to get anything going. A day after having 14 one-putts, Harrington has just four through 14 holes. Thursday, Harrington had 22 putts. He already has eclipsed that with 24 today and still has four holes to play. Dufner, meanwhile, has hit every fairway and all but one green in regulation.
4:30 p.m.: A dozen holes down and Padraig Harrington is right where he started: At 10 under. Harrington has made just one birdie and one bogey a day after making 10 of the former. As a result, his lead is suddenly down to just one with Jason Dufner turning in 4 under to get to 9 under for the week. Here’s how Dufner is doing it: He’s tied for first in fairways hit, having missed just two all week -- and none today. He’s also fifth in greens in regulation having hit 14 in the opening round and 8 of 9 so far today. He’s also fourth in total putts with 40 through his first 27 holes. Those kind of numbers go a long way on a lot of courses, especially here.
3:30 p.m.: To say Padraig Harrington isn’t having near the round he did on Thursday would be an understatement. The good news for Harrington of course is that he’s still leading after playing his first eight holes Friday in 1 under. He still has a three-shot lead, too. Though Jason Dufner is suddenly closing in after a 3-under start through his first five holes.
2:30 p.m.: The cut right now is at 1 under, which leaves some notable players on the outside looking in. Tommy Gainey, for example, is in at even par after a 69 Friday. He’ll need some help from the afternoon wave for the cut to move a stroke, but with little wind and the course continuing to be fairly benign he may not get it. Paul Casey is also on the wrong side of the number at even, though he’s through just eight holes. This is just Casey’s second start of the year after he injured his shoulder snowboarding and missed the first two months of the season. Boo Weekley, Geoff Ogilvy, Camilo Villegas, Ryo Ishikawa, Anthony Kim and Ryan Moore are also facing a short week here.
1:56 p.m.: Padraig Harrington just picked up his first birdie of the day on No. 11 (his second hole of the day). He now has a four stroke lead at 11 under for the week. Chris Couch, George McNeill and Luke Donald are in the clubhouse at 7 under.
1 p.m.: Padraig Harrington is still just over 10 minutes away from teeing off here in the second round, and no one has been able to catch him -- yet. George McNeill is still two back and Chris Couch, who shot 68, and Luke Donald, are both three back. As well as they have all played, Copperhead is playing nearly a full stroke more difficult here in Round 2. Of course Harrington’s 61 skewed the numbers a little in the opening round, but the point is no one is going super low. Remember, a year ago only 10 players finished double digits under par and the winning score was 15 under.
12:35 p.m.: Thanks to four birdies over his last five holes, Luke Donald is just three shots off the lead. Donald, who can become No. 1 in the world with a win here this week, began his day on the back nine and played it in a rather pedestrian 1 over with a bogey on the par-5 14th. His putter has since heated up on the front side, however, with three of his four birdies coming from beyond 10 feet. And the fourth came from just inside it at 9 feet, 8 inches. Donald tied for sixth here in 2010 in his only other appearance in the tournament. He’s also coming off a sixth-place finish last week.
11:55 a.m.: Players continue to take advantage of pristine conditions here in the second round. Case in point: Chris DiMarco, who is 5 under through 16 holes and now suddenly within four shots of the lead. Dimarco has a half-dozen birdies and just one bogey and could be on track for his best finish of the year after missing his last four cuts. On the year, he has just one finish inside the top 30 -- a tie for 13th at the Sony Open in Hawaii. Of the players near the top of the leaderboard who are currently on the golf course, not one is over par and at least five of them are at least 2 under.
11:20 a.m.: When George McNeill won in Puerto Rico last week, the victory guaranteed him a PGA TOUR card for the next two years. The win, however, did not get him into the Masters as it was an opposite-field event. “It's their rules,” McNeill said matter-of-factly earlier this week. “That's the way that's the way they have always been, the Masters and Augusta National. They allow entrance into their event based on their criteria.” A win here would get him in, and so far McNeill is 3 under through his first nine holes in the second round and just three strokes off the lead in a tie for second. McNeill has had success here before, too. In 2008 he tied for second.
11 a.m.: Last week, Justin Rose talked about feeling as confident as he ever has. He has good reason. In his last two starts he tied for fifth at The Honda Classic and of course won the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship. Rose is in contention again this week. Through his first eight holes here in the second round, he’s 2 under, and for the week is 6 under, just four strokes off the lead. One big reason Rose has consistently been in the mix: His putting. Through his first round-and-a-half on the Copperhead Course, Rose is 23-for-24 on putts inside 10 feet. He’s also made three from over 10 feet. Still, he has some work to do to catch leader Padraig Harrington, who opened with a 61 and will tee off at 1:12 p.m. ET.