Scotsman Martin Laird, on the strength of a 2nd round 65, assumed the lead at the halfway mark of the 2011 Arnold Palmer Invitational. I have no bone to pick with Mr. Laird, other than the fact he uses the ridiculous long putter that should be banned along with Nitroballs. Round one leader Spencer Levin hung tough with a -2, 70, to lay one back. Tied with Levin was KJ Choi after a spectacular 64. No beef from this Average Golfer with Choi even though his putter grip is thicker than mud.
With the wind abating, the 2nd round was noticeably more benign, resulting in more scores in the 60s and a closing in of the field. There's four way tie for third at -6 between Steve Marino, Vaughn Taylor, Hunter Mahan, and highlighted by Chucky-Three-Sticks superb 65. Tiger Woods and Sergio Garcia both carded 73, 68s in the 1st two rounds to set up a third round pairing that should hold all the charm of dental appointment. Not Facebook buddies I'm guessin'.
The first round wind and toughness of the course produced a cut line of +4. Notables failing to meet the minimum included Appleby, Manassero, O'Hair, Villegas, Vijay Singh, Dustin Johnson, and last week's winner Gary Woodland. 2nd Round Full Field Scores
Should be an interesting weekend with an intriguing cast of characters. The difficulty of the layout and potential for wind makes this one a must watch.
Swing hard, look up,
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