Tidland among leaders at Puerto Rico Open
Friday, March 11, 2011
RIO GRANDE, Puerto Rico – Chris Tidland shot a 9-under 63 on Friday for a share of the second-round lead in the Puerto Rico Open with James Driscoll and Troy Matteson.
Tidland had nine birdies in a bogey-free round at Trump International Golf Club-Puerto Rico to match the course record set by Derek Lamely in his victory last year and tied by Driscoll on Thursday.
“Everything, obviously, went pretty well,” Tidland said. “I got off to a nice start. I hit a 6-iron on the second hole, No. 11. I hit it to a foot, and that kind of started me off. I made some nice putts for par and then I just kept hitting some fairways and some greens.
“And I had a lot of great looks, from 3 to 12 feet, and I made a lot of them today. These greens are in such good shape, and there’s not a whole lot of break around the hole. There’s a lot of putts that are right edge, left edge, and if you can get them started on line, you can make some putts, and I fortunately did.”
Matteson shot his second straight 67, and Driscoll had a 71 to join Tidland at 10 under.
Stephen Ames (66), George McNeill (66) and Hunter Haas (68) were 9 under.
Tidland, the former Oklahoma State player who has two victories on the Nationwide Tour, is making his first appearance in the PGA Tour event.
“It’s a fun place. It’s fun,” Tidland said. “All of us are staying at the resort. They take good care of us. It’s great food, and yeah, it’s been a great week.
Driscoll had three birdies and double bogey on the par-5 15th.
“At times, I hit it a lot better than yesterday,” Driscoll said. “Yesterday, seemed like a lot of the good shots just went right next to the hole. Today, added up 20 feet a lot of times. But still feel pretty good about everything. Ball-striking’s pretty good. The putter isn’t quite totally dialed in, but you know, it’s something to work on and I’m looking forward to the next couple days.”
Matteson is a two-time winner on the PGA Tour.
“I’ve been hitting it good, starting to see the ball turn over a little bit more, hit a little bit more up in the face,” Matteson said. “And you know, I just want to put a solid weekend on the board, more than anything. If I hit it the way I did these first two days, I should be in good shape to do that. And I haven’t played well this year, so I’m just happy that I got off to a good start this week.”
Michael Bradley (68) and Ben Martin (66) were 8 under, and major champions Stewart Cink (68) and Angel Cabrera (71) were another stroke back along with Chris DiMarco (69), Michael Thompson (69), Fabian Gomez (70) and Justin Hicks (69). Cink is playing the event for the first time after failing to qualify for the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship this week at Doral.
“I’m thoroughly impressed,” Cink said. “I love playing this course. I think it’s fun to play. It’s a good course for the wind. You know, there’s a lot of interesting, kind of challenging shots.
“It’s not like there’s anything just over-the-top scary or difficult, but you have to hit good quality shots and shape the ball the right way, and it’s exactly what – it’s exactly the kind of course that ought to be right here in Puerto Rico. It’s got length. It’s got some short holes, but when the wind blows, you’ve got to hit some creative shots. So it’s a really fun course to play.”
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