May 25 2012
By Fred Albers, PGATOUR.COM Correspondent
FORT WORTH, Texas -- With temperatures in the 90s and winds whipping at 30 mph during the second round of the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial, it was quite difficult to keep moisture in the greens on Friday.
There is a notice in the player's locker room warning players the greens will be syringed during the course of play. That means penetrating jets of water will be applied to the putting surfaces. It changes the speed of the greens but the bentgrass would not survive without water in the brutally hot Texas heat.
Iced: Tom Gillis walked to a ice chest on the 15th tee and put his hand into the ice. With the hot conditions, Gillis says his hands have a tendency to sweat and swell. By soaking them in ice for just a few minutes, Gillis says the swelling is reduced and he gets a better feel when gripping the club.
Scrambling: Sergio Garcia has made great progress in his putting. He is ranked 38th on the PGA TOUR this season in Strokes Gained-Putting but he also continues to lose shots around the green.
Garcia is ranked 165th in scrambling and 142nd in bunker play. It showed on Friday. Garcia put his approach into the water hazard at the ninth hole, took a drop and chipped it into the hazard a second time. He would up with an 8.
Par 5s & 3s: Zach Johnson did not birdie a single par 5 in the opening round and played them in 3 under on Friday. He eagled the opening hole and added a birdie at the 11th. Johnson is also 4 under on the back nine par 3s. Johnson has birdied the 13th and 16th holes in each of the first two rounds.
Ball-striking: Jason Dufner is ranked sixth this week in hitting fairways, eighth in greens in regulation and is sixth in Strokes Gained-Putting. That is a hard combination to beat. Mark Carnevale of PGA Tour Radio is not given to hyperbole and yet says Dufner is hitting the ball as good -- or better -- than anyone he's seen on TOUR in the last quarter-century. If you need more evidence of his ball-striking, Dufner has played the "Horrible Horseshoe” (Nos. 3, 4, 5) in 4 under.
Bo knows: In 2010, Bo Van Pelt was ranked 82nd on TOUR in Strokes Gained-Putting. Last year he was 144th. This season Van Pelt is ranked second in Strokes Gained-Putting. He attributes the turnaround to a renewed dedication to practice and setup.
Fred Albers is a course reporter for SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio and inside the ropes this week at the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial. For more information on SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio, click here.