QUICK RECAP: ROUND 2
IRVING, Texas -- It was less than a month ago that Jason Dufner broke through with his first win in 164 PGA TOUR starts. Now he's 36 holes away from winning for the second time in his last three starts.
Thanks to a couple of chip-in birdies, including at the tough 18th hole, Dufner claimed the 36-hole lead at the HP Byron Nelson Championship at 7 under.
But the pack behind him is large and closely bunched. Six players -- Chad Campbell, Ryan Palmer, Pat Perez, Dicky Pride, Marc Leishman and last week's PLAYERS champion Matt Kuchar -- are one shot behind. Twenty-eight more players are within at least five shots of the lead. And former HP Byron Nelson champs Phil Mickelson and Ernie Els are in a group that's six shots back.
Campbell shot a 4-under 66 on Friday, a terrific performance in tough windy afternoon conditions at the TPC Four Seasons Resort course. It helped that he chipped in for birdie at the 15th and 18th holes during a closing stretch in which he birdied four of his final five holes.
"It was a nice way to finish," Dufner said. "Looking forward to the weekend."
Campbell, like Dufner, also shot 66, tying for the second lowest score of the day behind Brian Davis' 65. Palmer, the 18-hole leader, shot an even-par 70. Perez shot 67, Pride shot 68, Leishman shot 69 and Kuchar continued his momentum from last week by shooting 68.
"I feel well on the tee ball and that's a crucial thing around most of these courses that we play," Kuchar said.
Mickelson pulled off an impressive shot from a difficult lie for birdie at the ninth, but double bogeyed the final hole and was not happy with his play.
"God, I hit it terrible today," he said. "There was no other way around it."
LIVE UPDATES: ROUND 2 (all times ET)
7 p.m. – Jason Dufner after his second-round 66: “Had a couple of chip-ins; you don’t really expect those. … I’ve played pretty solid for two days.”
6:55 p.m. – The cut line has moved to 2 over, but with 70 players inside the cut and several groups still out in the course, it could still move. Brian Gay, for one, hopes it doesn’t. He dropped four strokes in his final four holes to fall to 2 over.
6:28 p.m. – The big pack at 6 under isn’t the lead group anymore. Jason Dufner birdied four of his last five holes, including a chip-in birdie at the tough 18th hole, to shoot 66 and get to 7 under. He had seven birdies overall in his afternoon round.
6:23 p.m. – Phil Mickelson’s momentum came to an end with a tee shot in the water on the par-4 18th hole. He went on to make double bogey, falling to 1 under for the event. He had made consecutive birdies at 16 and 17 and was among the top 20 on the leaderboard. Alongside Mickelson, Adam Scott also made a double bogey, and a crushing one at that. He fell from on the cutline (2 over) to 4 over and done for the week.
6:05 p.m. – After a terrific tee shot at the par-3 17th, Phil Mickelson rolled in his birdie putt from 7 feet. That’s his second consecutive birdie and moves him to 3 under for the tournament.
5:59 p.m. – Jason Dufner has produced his third consecutive birdie, rolling in a putt of 15-1/2 feet at the par-5 16th. That puts him at 6 under and a share of the lead, which is now held by seven players. Dufner’s the only one still on the course, so he has two holes to claim the solo lead going into Saturday.
5:43 p.m. – Marc Leishman has finished with a 1-under 69, leaving him at 6 under and with a share of the second-round lead. Leishman survived despite hitting just four of 14 fairways on Friday.
5:37 p.m. – Jason Dufner, who recently broke through with his first PGA TOUR win at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, has chipped in from just off the green at the par-4 15th for his second consecutive birdie. Dufner is 2 under on his round and 5 under for the tournament, just one shot off the lead.
5:24 p.m. – Just five of the 78 players in the afternoon wave are at 2 under or better for their rounds. Robert Gamez has the best round going; he’s 3 under through 17 holes and is sitting on the cut line at 1 over.
5:10 p.m. – A poor tee shot forced Phil Mickelson to lay up short of the water with his second shot at the par-4 14th. He failed to save his par, as Mickelson suffered his first bogey of the day. He’s now 1 under with four holes left in his round.
4:36 p.m. – Marc Leishman has grabbed a share of the lead after his birdie at the par-3 fifth moved him to 6 under. There are five players in the clubhouse at 6 under – Chad Campbell, Ryan Palmer, Matt Kuchar, Pat Perez and Dicky Pride.
4:31 p.m. – Adam Scott, the 2008 HP Byron Nelson champ, is fighting to make the cut. He’s currently one stroke outside the cut line with seven holes to play. Scott rolled in a 47-foot eagle putt at the par-5 seventh to move to 2 over for the tournament.
4:24 p.m. – Carl Pettersson was 1 under for the tournament and inside the cut line after his first six holes Friday. But he’s suffered double bogey in each of his last three holes and is now at 3 over and outside the cut line. Pettersson had to take penalty strokes at the 16th and 18th holes.
4:20 p.m. – Of the 78 players in the afternoon wave, just 17 are under par for their rounds. “It’s tough conditions for the guys this afternoon,” said Jason Day after finishing his morning round. “We obviously got lucky with the draw.”
3:59 p.m. – Phil Mickelson closed out his front nine Friday with a typical Phil-type shot. After his tee shot landed under some trees left of the fairway, Mickelson used a 5-wood – after initially pulling a 5-iron, then a 4-iron -- to hit a low cut shot that rolled onto the green and stopped pin high, 16 feet away. “That’s preposterous,” said SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio analyst John Maginnes. Mickelson followed by making the birdie putt to go to 2 under on his round. ( Click here to watch the shot )
3:49 p.m. – The cut line has now moved to 1 over, which is good news for the six players who have already ended their second rounds at that number – Tim Petrovic, Robert Garrigus, Arjun Atwal, Chris Riley, Kevin Kisner and Roberto Castro.
3:45 p.m. – 2010 HP Byron Nelson champ Jason Day said a bug flew into his eye on his sixth hole of the day, the par-4 15th. “I was struggling with that,” Day said. “I saw the medic and they got me some saline and I had it looked at on the 17th, in between the 16th green and the 17th tee. It was bugging me quite a bit, really red.” Day overcome the problem, shooting a 2-under 68 and is at 4 under going into the weekend.
3:30 p.m. – A year ago, Gary Woodland ranked third in the HP Byron Nelson field in driving distance with a 325.3-yard average. Through the first two rounds this week, his average of 304.0 yards, which has him currently ranked outside the top 70 in the field. But taking something off his fastball hasn’t hurt Woodland – he’s 2 under through two rounds after Friday’s even-par 70. Last year, Woodland finished tied for 49th.
3:17 p.m. – Dicky Pride, a two-time all-SEC golfer during his days at the University of Alabama in the early 1990s, had another well-known Alabama sports star in his gallery on Friday – former Dallas Cowboys linebacker Lee Roy Jordan. “It was a surprise,” Pride said when he saw Jordan. “I hadn’t seen him in a couple of years; it was nice to see him.” Pride was also surprised to learn that he’s managed 10 birdies in the first two rounds en route to his 6 under total going into the weekend. “Really?” he asked when told of the number.
3 p.m. – Ernie Els has a couple of early birdies and is now at 2 under for the tournament. Playing partner Phil Mickelson is even on his round and remains at even par for the tournament and right on the projected cut line.
2:50 p.m. -- Last week, J.J. Henry hired Champions Tour player Mark Brooks to caddie for him at THE PLAYERS with the hope that he could not only perform well there but that Brooks could instill some of his veteran knowledge. It seems to be working. Henry just made his third birdie in his first six holes to get within one of the lead -- and he has a chance to add to that with the par-5 16th upcoming.
2:13 p.m. – If the top of the leaderboard doesn’t change, Chad Campbell and Ryan Palmer would be playing partners in the final group on Saturday. The Texas natives live "probably a 5 wood away” from each other in nearby Colleyville, Palmer said. They’ve known each other since their high school days in west Texas.
2:10 p.m. – Dicky Pride bogeyed his final hole at the 18th and finished with a 2-under 68. That leaves him at 6 under and a share of the clubhouse lead.
2:07 p.m. – Matt Kuchar said he was “going the wrong way” early in his second round after two bogeys and a double bogey. But he rallied to shoot a 2-under 68. “Pleased with the way I was able to hang in there and bounce back,” THE PLAYERS champ said.
1:53 p.m. – Chad Campbell after his 4-under 66: “It’s been a little bit of a long year and I played some not-so-good golf. It’s nice to play a couple of good rounds. There is a long ways to go but I’m definitely happy with the way things are going right now.”
1:40 p.m. – Ryan Palmer after his even-par 70: “I stayed in the moment and survived.” Palmer finished his round with a birdie at the 18th. “To birdie the last hole is an awesome feeling going into tomorrow.”
1:30 p.m. – The featured group of Phil Mickelson, Ernie Els and Adam Scott have started their second rounds. To follow that threesome on Shot Tracker, click here.
1:23 p.m. – Defending champion Keegan Bradley has given himself an excellent chance to repeat this weekend. He just put the finishing touches on a 2-under 68 that leaves him at 5 under going into Saturday’s third round. Through two rounds, Bradley has 11 birdies and one eagle against eight bogeys.
1:20 p.m. – First-round leader Ryan Palmer has posted a second-round even-par 70 that leaves him at 6 under. Palmer bogeyed two of his first five holes but bounced back and closed his round with a birdie at the 18th, just the sixth birdie of the day on that hole
1:15 p.m. – The group of Matt Kuchar, Vijay Singh and Padraig Harrington has completed their second rounds. Kuchar, riding the momentum of last week’s PLAYERS Championship win, shot a 68 and is at 6 under for the tournament. Harrington, making his first start in this event, shot a 69 and is at 3 under. Singh shot a 70 and is at 2 under.
1:05 p.m. – Dicky Pride has assumed the lead with a birdie at the par-4 fourth after hitting his approach to 9 feet. Pride is now at 7 under for the tournament with four holes to play.
12:47 p.m. – Chad Campbell has completed a bogey-free round of 4-under 66 that leaves him at 6 under for the tournament and the current clubhouse leader. The four-time TOUR winner is looking for his first win since 2007. He’s looking for his first top-10 this season; his best finish in 13 previous starts this year is a tie for 24th at the RBC Heritage.
12:31 p.m. – Texas native Chad Campbell, who lives in the Dallas area, has moved into a tie for the lead with Dicky Pride. Campbell has birdied the 17th and is 6 under for the tournament and 4 under for his round. Campbell’s only top-10 finish in 10 previous starts in this event was a fifth in 2006.
12:23 p.m. – PLAYERS champion Matt Kuchar has rebounded from a tough four-hole stretch early in his second round in which he suffered two bogeys and a double bogey. Since then, Kuchar is a bogey-free 4 under in his last nine holes and is 1 under for his round and 5 under for the tournament with three holes left. Incidentally, Kuchar needs a solo second or a win here this week to move to No. 4 in the world rankings. He jumped to No. 5 after last week’s win at TPC Sawgrass.
12:15 p.m. – Dallas native Justin Leonard has never won his hometown event in 18 previous starts and he’ll be hard-pressed to make the cut this year. Leonard is 5 over for the tournament with five holes to play, and the projected cut line is even par. Leonard’s best finish here was a tie for sixth in 2001.
12:09 p.m. – Jason Day vowed he would never again find the water at the 18th hole ( click here for full story ) and for at least the second round, he made good on his promise. Starting his round off the 10th tee, Day’s tee shot at the 18th landed safely down the right side of the fairway, and his second shot found the green. He two-putted from there for par. Day, the 2010 HP Byron Nelson champ, is 1 under on his round and 3 under for the tournament through 13 holes Friday.
12:04 p.m. – John Rollins has the hottest round of those players in the morning wave. Rollins has birdied his last four holes and is 5 under on his round through 12 holes. That puts him at 4 under for the tournament. Rollins already has four top-10 finishes this season and comes in ranked 34th in FedExCup points.
Noon – Defending champion Keegan Bradley has had a rollercoaster round thus far but fortunately he has a hot putter. Through 12 holes, he has five birdies and three bogeys. and is now 5 under for the tournament, one shot off the lead. Bradley has made putts of 22 feet, 5 inches; 18 feet, 5 inches; 21 feet, 6 inches; and 17 feet, 1 inch.
11:55 a.m. ET – First-round leader Ryan Palmer dropped two shots in his first six holes but has battled back and remains at 6 under with four holes left in his second round. That has him tied with Pat Perez and Dicky Pride for the lead. Perez is 3 under on his round through 11 holes and Pride has just made the turn at 2 under for his round.