Jason Duffer sits atop the leader board at The Zurich Classic of New Orleans after the second round at TPC Louisiana. Jason had a -7 under par round of 65 to lead by one shot at -12 under par for the tournament. Just one shot back, after a magnificent round of – 8 under par, 64, for a tournament score of -11 under par is Russell Knox, from Scotland. Ken Duke and John Rollins are also at -11 after the second round, Ken continuing his good form.
Jason was really happy with round, including the eagle at 18;
Stan Badz/PGA TOUR
”Really nice start on the front-9, I had a couple putts, I had a couple of easy birdies. I don’t think I missed a fairway or a green. Just had some tough reads. The greens are kind of tough to read. Sometimes you get competing grains, competing slopes, so you get a putt that might break to the right but the grain is going left. That can be kind of difficult to judge. And then 18 I had just a really good number for my 5-wood to get somewhere on that green and had a putt that was down-grain and breaking to the left with the grain so that was a nice way to finish the day.
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Among the group at -10 under par, is Ernie Els who had a second round score of -4 under par which leaves him just two shots off the lead. Luke Donald was another player to have a -7 under par second round and at -6 for the tournament could manage to compete over the final holes come Sunday, assuming he has another good round tomorrow and stay in touch with the leaders.
Bubba Watson, the defending champion, had another 71 for his second round, leaving him just on the cut line, and he will be there to contest the final two rounds. A sigh of relief from the Watson fans, and I expect the sponsors.
Notables missing the cut were; Retief Goosen,73 and 71 at even and John Daly, 80 and 73 to finish at +9, a dismal tournament for John.
Paul Lawrie shoots a 5-under 67 on Saturday to take a one-shot lead over Nicolas Colsaerts into the final round of the Qatar Masters in Doha. He had to recover from a penalty for the silly mistake of dropping his ball on a marker, but still managed to lead the field at the end of play at -8 under par for the 54 hole tournament. Paul said of his round;
“I played very good again, hitting it beautifully tee to green. Anytime you play as solidly as that and hit a few putts in there it’s a fair chance you are going to play well.”
The ball dropping incident was a similar mistake to that made by Ian Poulter during a two-way playoff at the Dubai World Championship in 2010, when his penalty essentially gave the win to Robert Karlsson of Sweden. Lawrie seemed a little bemused by the ruling, commenting;
“I didn’t see it and no one else saw it so you have to take the penalty and kind of kick on. It’s one of these freak, stupid rules, it’s like Poulter in Dubai, the same thing. It’s one of those many rules that could do with changing a wee bit.”
Nicolas Colsaerts is just one shot back and feeling very comfortable with his game;
“I am playing very well even though I think I could have hit closer to some flags. ”I managed quite well, kept the ball in play and didn’t do anything stupid.”
John Daly, the clubhouse leader when play was suspended struggled all day and finished tied for 17th place at -4 under par. He was pretty philosophical about his days play;
“I didn’t hit the tee-balls as good as I did Thursday. But I hung in there. Some of those bogeys I made could have been doubles or triples just as easy.”
45mph gusts of wind meant less than three hours’ play was possible on the second day of the Commercialbank Qatar Masters and the competition has now been reduced to 54 holes. David Probyn, tournament director, announced that the sponsors did not want the event to extend into Monday and the second leg of The European Tour’s Middle East swing has now been cut to 54 holes.
“The course is still on the verge of playable, but there’s no point sending the guys out for an hour or two on a marginal course. The winds will be down a notch tomorrow and decreasing during the day, while the forecast for Sunday is for much calmer conditions.”
Play is scheduled to resume at 8.45am tomorrow and the aim is to complete the second round by the end of the day and then stage the third round on Sunday.
Fernandez-Castaño, the first round leader reported;
“It was windy when we went out and I had a few birdie chances, but then I bogeyed two holes into the wind. I hope tomorrow I can take advantage of the remaining ten holes I have. I didn’t have any balls moving, but certain shots you could hardly keep balanced. Being selfish I’m quite happy play was called off.”
Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (Getty Images)
As things stand, John Daly is top of the leaderboard, and he has yet to even start his second round but in these conditions anything could happen, so it really is anyone’s tournament. I will keep you posted.
Aussie Brad Kennedy leads the field after day three of the New Zealand open at Clearwater in Christchurch. Sadly he is the highest ranked player left in the tournament with a world ranking of 144. The organizers need to find a way of attracting some of the worlds top players to N.Z. to give the tournament some kudos and gain worldwide media attention. Good luck to Brad Kennedy I hope he gets his win, it does not look like we can get a Kiwi winner. Brad usually has his best results when chasing the the field, he is not used to leading starting the final round, saying
“Most of my good finishes this year were coming from behind,” Kennedy said.
“I’ve just got to go out and attack whether I’m four or five ahead or one behind, two behind. If I don’t I can let everyone back in.”
The Hong Kong open is being lead by Spains Alvaro Quiros who had a superb third round, unlike Rory McIlroy who struggled and finds himself three shots behind the leader. Although he fell behind Rory said he could still challenge strongly in the final round. It should be a thrilling finish to the tournament. Rory admitted he was lackluster but issued this statement.
“I didn’t have anything out there. Mentally I’m not up to it and little things were starting to agitate me,” McIlroy said. “But I’m not out of it, still just three shots behind. If I can get off to a decent start, I will be able to put some pressure on the leaders.”
I have heard an amazing story regarding John Daly and his meltdown in Aussie. Apparently the trouble started when he hit a wrong ball, which went into the lake. A course marshal who standing there let Daly hit the errant ball, before pointing to Johns ball not too far away. The wrong ball had been left there from a wayward shot off the practice fairway earlier. The question is, why did the marshal not guide John to the correct ball.