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November 15 2013

7:57 PM

Observations: Friday

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Jhonattan Vegas got a fortuitous bounce from an unlikely source on Friday.

By Fred Albers, PGATOUR.COM Correspondent

PLAYA DEL CARMEN, Mexico -- Every week on the PGA TOUR there are players who get both good and bad tee times. Sometimes a golfer is called to the tee and it seems like a giant fan is flipped on and he plays the entire round in high wind. The same holds true for rainstorms.

Over the course of a season, the good and bad times even out just like good and bad bounces during the course of a round.

Those players who completed two rounds of golf on Friday at the OHL Classic at Mayakoba had the good tee times this week.

Robert Karlsson combined good weather with good shots. So did Kevin Stadler. Both were able to complete their opening rounds and then move right into the second round with little break between play. Stadler and Karlsson were both playing well and retained that momentum for not just one round but for half the tournament.

Observations

Good bounce: Jhonattan Vegas knew he hit a bad tee shot as soon as it left the clubface. His drive on the second hole headed left and was diving deep into the mangroves until it the trunk of a tree. The ball not only ricocheted away from the mangroves, it landed in the fairway. Vegas could have been taking a drop, instead he had a perfect lie and angle to the green. He hit his approach to 10 feet and lipped out the birdie. That mangrove tee saved Vegas one and possibly two shots.

Scoring holes: The stretch of holes 5-6-7 offer a great chance to pick up birdies. The stretch has a pair of par 5s with a short par 4 in between. Robert Karlsson has played that stretch in 6 under, recording six birdies. Kevin Stadler is 3 under through two trips over that three-hole stretch.

Pace: Chris Stroud is sensitive to the heat. He has fair skin and makes sure to apply sunscreen and then reapply during the course of the round. Stroud takes the further precaution of walking under the shade of an umbrella. When playing in tropical climates, he says he paces himself on the golf course to conserve energy. With high heat and humidity the El Camaleon course became a sweatbox on Friday afternoon.

Refreshing: Karlsson took time out to wash his hand during the round. It wasn’t for sanitary measures; it was to help with the feel of his grip. In hot and humid conditions Karlsson likes cold water on his hands to reduce swelling and to remove any sweat or grim that accumulated.

Wildlife: The cavern in the seventh fairway is intimidating on its own but the sinkhole featured a pair of guardians on Friday. Crawling back and forth, just inside the entrance, were a pair of iguanas. It was not hard to spot the lizards; they were both in excess of 3 feet long. Meanwhile over at the second hole, it appeared a whole family of iguanas had taken up residence and were sunning themselves in the afternoon heat.

Fred Albers is a course reporter for SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio. For more information on SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio, click here.

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