April 27 2012
By Fred Albers, PGATOUR.COM Correspondent
AVONDALE, La. – For years, Ken Duke drew the golf ball. He turned it from right to left until he began working with Bob Toski, then they teamed to turn that draw into a much more consistent fade. This week, Duke has been impressive in working it both ways.
Duke has made just one bogey in 36 holes and said his swing thought is to pull the ball to the left at impact.
Snowman: Give Daniel Chopra points for mental toughness. He began play having not made a single cut this year, then started the second round with a triple bogey on his second hole, the par-5 11th (he teed off on No. 10). Chopra followed that with a double bogey on his seventh hole, dropping from contention to outside the cut in a 90-minute span. But he then rallied with six birdies, ending at 2-under 70 and 8 under overall (T11). He made his first cut of the year and could have a great weekend.
The Big Easy: It will be interesting to see Ernie Els play this weekend. He’s had putting totals of 27 and 26 to shoot 10 under so far. Els is ranked 114th in Strokes Gained-Putting for the season but is 18th in the stat this week and has played 36 holes without a three-putt. The true test comes on Sunday, where Els ranks 119th in fourth-round scoring.
Snake Charmer: Greg Chalmers has a unique nickname on the PGA TOUR: Snake. I never understood why he picked up the moniker until he explained in his Aussie accent, “You know, snake charmer? Greg Chalmers …snake charmer.” He’s snaked in 14 birdies and an eagle this week.
Patience: When I asked Charles Howell III how his patience has been he had a simple answer: Terrible. He hasn’t won on TOUR since 2007 at the Northern Trust Open. Maybe the streak ends this weekend. Howell is 7 under going into the third round, thanks to an eagle on the 11th hole. From 264 yards out, Howell hit a 3-wood to within two feet of the cup.
Fred Albers is a course reporter for SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio and on site this week at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans. For more information on SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio, click here.