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The Tour Report

October 14 2011

3:43 PM

Defending champ surges into weekend

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Stan Badz/PGA TOUR
Heath Slocum has 10 birdies through two rounds but only at 4 under in his title defense.
By Chris Dunham, PGATOUR.COM ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – A trio of 66s and a closing 68 were enough to get Heath Slocum a victory at the inaugural McGladrey Classic last year. After opening with an even-par 70, there was pressure on Slocum to make a move. He did just that Friday with a 4-under 66, giving the 37-year-old momentum, and a chance to pursue the leaders, as he heads into the weekend. “Well, that was the goal after yesterday,” Slocum said. “I was like, all right, let's just put a good round on the board. I did today, wind or no wind, I don't know what it's going to do this afternoon, but I played good, and that was kind of my goal. Give yourself a chance on the weekend to see if you can't catch them.” Slocum’s bid to make up ground opened with him surrendering shots on his first two holes of the day: Nos. 10 and 11. “It was a little disconcerting to kind of get off to that start,” Slocum said. “That’s not the start I wanted. I knew it was going to be a tough day in the wind and I knew it was going to continue to blow. I made a big putt on 13 for par, and from there, it kind of -- things started turning around, and I made some putts.” That 13-footer on No. 13 gave Slocum the confidence to make six birdies on his way around the Sea Island layout Friday. Three of those putts stretched more than 10 feet, including a 35-footer on No. 18. Slocum admitted the title defense was on his mind, but once he fell to 2 over, he just had to focus executing each shot and getting himself back into contention. “I wasn't worried about anything other than, look, let's just go hit a good tee ball on the next and try and take little baby steps where I can worry about trying to win,” he said. “And I played better.”