The Starter: Round 2, Open

October 14, 2010
PGA TOUR staff

The second round of the Open is set to begin Friday. Here's a preview:

Groups we're watching:
Tee time Players  
10:20 a.m. ET
No. 10
Rocco Mediate, Kevin Sutherland, Josh Teater
First-round leader Mediate will try to ride the momentum of his bogey-free Thursday to his first win since 2002.
3:10 p.m. ET
No. 1
Rickie Fowler, Troy Merritt, Tim Petrovic
Fowler and Merritt are still tied for the Kodak Challenge lead after they both made par Thursday on 17. Will one of them birdie to lead?
3:20 p.m. ET
No. 1
Troy Matteson, Bo Van Pelt, Justin Leonard
Van Pelt is having his most consistent season on TOUR, but is still searching for that W. He sits just one back of the lead.

EXPERT PREVIEW: PGA TOUR Network on-site correspondent Brett Wright previews Friday's action:

Bo Van Pelt had the single most poignant statement of this Open so far. He said: "This golf course is a second shot golf course. The greens are segmented into different levels and the key to playing well here is hitting the ball in the fairway and then using distance control to find the right level. Once you hit the second shot to the right level (or section) of the green you will have a good look at birdie."

Friday's forecast

Temp: 84 high/57 low
Chance of precipitation 0 percent. Winds from N around 9 mph.

I think that sums up the scoring we will see in the second round, and through the weekend. Do not look for the bombers (long hitters) to dominate this week's leaderboard, but put your hopes in the straight hitting plodders. This is a week when distance can be trumped by strategic attempts from the fairway and a solid putter. The greens have already started drying out and the intense dry heat will continue to push the already fast greens to another level. Look for the morning wave here in the second round to do most of the scoring just like in Round 1. Paul Goydos played at the end of the morning wave in the first round and said the greens were still smooth while he played.

After half the field had trekked on the greens in the heat, they looked a little bumpy for the afternoon players. With the speed and wear on the putting surface, the morning players have a distinct advantage. The weather forecast for today is much the same as Round 1 with 84 being the high and no chance of rain. And in this valley where the golf course is, the wind feels non existant. Paul Goydos also spoke about the few times he missed the fairway that the rough was quite penalizing, as the ball seems to sit down between the thick blades of bluegrass and rye overseed. David Duval said that you really can't catch any flyers from the rough because of the way the ball sits down low and then added you can only advance the ball 130 or 140 yard from one of those lies.

Today look for Rickie Fowler to shoot a break-out round. Even playing in the second wave, Fowler seems to have uncanny maturity at 21 and proved in the first round that he can let this golf course come to him. He told me after his first round that he liked the course and it was pretty straight forward, I believe he will make a ton of birdies here with his solid driving and stellar distance control of his irons.

Van Pelt is another player I expect big things from in Round 2. He did not miss a green and did not make a bogey in Round 1, I believe that momentum will continue for the 35-year-old in this his best ever overall PGA TOUR season.

The Film Room
Rocco Mediate takes the overnight lead after round one at the 2010 Open. Casey Black previews what to expect for Friday. Watch it
Round 1 Highlights
Rocco Mediate shoots a 7-under par 64 and is the solo leader during first round coverage of the 2010 Open. Watch it
Shot of the Day
Jonathan Byrd chips in from the green side bunker for birdie during first round coverage of the 2010 Open. Watch it
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Finally, lets dedicate this tournament to our PGA TOUR Rules Officials which support every event during the season. They were called out for make rulings more than I have ever seen in four years of coving the TOUR. I believe the new golf course had more to do with that than anything, but I sure don't know what we would do without them -- good job guys!