Yang leads Honda; Fujikawa makes cut

By TIM REYNOLDS
Associated Press

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — To say Y.E. Yang has had an erratic career would be putting it mildly.

He beat Tiger Woods to win the HSBC Champions in 2006. Three weeks later, he finished well out of contention at Q-School. And he got disqualified when trying to defend his title at Shanghai, because someone following play on the Internet noticed his scorecard was incorrect.

And now, the latest upswing for Yang: He’s the leader midway through the Honda Classic.

Yang shot a bogey-free round of 5-under 65, moving to 7 under through two rounds at PGA National. The South Korean was one shot ahead of Will MacKenzie (67), Jeff Overton (67) and Robert Allenby (68).

“Prior to my win at the HSBC Champions in 2006, people in Korea knew me ... but outside of Korea, people really didn’t know me at all,” Yang said through an interpreter. “But after beating Tiger at the HSBC, people starting recognizing me, not only in Korea but outside as well. To be mentioned in the same context as Tiger, it’s very honorable.”

Of the top 21 players on the leaderboard, only MacKenzie and Stewart Cink have PGA Tour wins since 2006.

A who’s-who leaderboard?

More people were probably saying “Who’s he?”

“It just goes to show how much better, more competitive it’s become the last few years,” Overton said. “Tiger raised the bar and it’s unbelievable how good these guys are. It really is. It’s unbelievable how many players have not won yet, but only one guy wins each week. You only have 35 or 40 weeks, you get Tiger winning half of them, so there’s not a lot of room for other players.”

Seems like there will be this weekend.

Ben Crane, winless since 2005, shot a 5-under 65 on his 33rd birthday to get to 5 under, two shots off Yang’s pace. David Mathis (68) was alone at 4 under, and six others were at 3 under, including Greg Chalmers (who shot 64, Friday’s best round) and Harrison Frazar (65).

“It’s easy to fade on this golf course,” said MacKenzie, who won the Viking Classic last fall, but came into the Honda with a string of four consecutive missed cuts. “You’ve got to somehow have confidence and take your medicine when you have to ... swallow your pride and make bogey sometimes.”

Yang — who needed only 25 putts Friday, one-putting 11 times — hasn’t been in that position much so far.

He’s made one bogey in the first two rounds — the 12th hole on Thursday, and immediately followed that with a birdie. Yang started on the back side Friday, put together one birdie and eight pars before making the turn, and got rolling from there with three straight birdies that vaulted him up the leaderboard. A 12-footer on the par-3 7th was his fifth birdie of the day, giving him the outright lead.

From there, he hustled to finish before darkness fell.

“I didn’t want to have to wake up early,” Yang said.

No chance of that now — he’ll be going off in the final group Saturday.

Erik Compton’s stirring run continued with his second straight round of 69, getting him to 2 under in his second PGA Tour event since undergoing heart-transplant surgery for the second time last year.

“Obviously I have to do some work on the weekend. ... Still a lot of golf to play,” Compton said.

Compton walked Friday alongside John Paul George, 14, who has a condition called hypoplastic left heart. In layman’s terms, it means the left side of the boy’s heart doesn’t work.

John Paul is 4-foot-1 and looks barely half his age. And he was exhausted afterward — just like Compton — but the boy finished the whole course.

“This is the best day of my life,” Paul said.

Among notables, Rory McIlroy (68) and Cink (71) were five shots back, Sergio Garcia (72) was six shots off the lead and Rocco Mediate (67) was within seven.

Defending champion Ernie Els made an 8-footer for birdie on the par-5 18th hole to get to 3 over, which wound up being the cut line. Camilo Villegas (74) missed the cut by four shots.

Tadd Fujikawa, the 18-year-old from Hawaii, made a 20-footer for birdie on his final hole to reach 2 over for the week, and a big fist pump showed he thought he needed that putt just to play the weekend.

Turns out, he had a little room to spare.

“Very happy with the way I finished,” said Fujikawa, who was dead last at PGA National through two rounds last year. “In the beginning, I struggled a little bit, but in the end I played pretty well.”

Notes: Mathias Gronberg, who shot 89 on Thursday, shot 43 on the back nine (he started at No. 10) Friday and withdrew. His score of 132 through 27 holes was only one shot less than Yang needed to play the first 36. ... Chalmers moved 74 spots up the leaderboard. ... Jeff Klauk had five consecutive birdies, one shy of Fred Couples’ PGA Tour rookie record. Klauk is part of the six-way tie for seventh at 3 under.

Scores with relation to par from the second round of the Honda Classic,played March 6 at the par-70, 7,158-yard Champion course at PGANational in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.:

  1. Y.E. Yang 68-65--133

    -7 2. Will MacKenzie 67-67--134

    -6 2. Robert Allenby 66-68--134

    -6 2. Jeff Overton 67-67--134

    -6 5. Ben Crane 70-65--135

    -5 6. David Mathis 68-68--136

    -4 7. Alex Cejka 71-66--137

    -3 7. Greg Chalmers 73-64--137

    -3 7. John Rollins 69-68--137

    -3 7. Harrison Frazar 72-65--137

    -3 7. James Nitties 70-67--137

    -3 7. Jeff Klauk 69-68--137

    -3 13. Brett Quigley 71-67--138

    -2 13. Rory McIlroy 70-68--138

    -2 13. Jason Dufner 72-66--138

    -2 13. Scott Piercy 72-66--138

    -2 13. D.A. Points 69-69--138

    -2 13. Erik Compton 69-69--138

    -2 13. Kevin Streelman 70-68--138

    -2 13. John Merrick 69-69--138

    -2 13. Stewart Cink 67-71--138

    -2 22. Fredrik Jacobson 72-67--139

    -1 22. Sergio Garcia 67-72--139

    -1 22. Steve Marino 69-70--139

    -1 22. Kent Jones 68-71--139

    -1 22. Ryan Palmer 73-66--139

    -1 27. Michael Allen 69-71--140

    E 27. David Berganio, Jr. 71-69--140

    E 27. Nicholas Thompson 69-71--140

    E 27. Nathan Green 69-71--140

    E 27. Brandt Jobe 70-70--140

    E 27. Jeff Maggert 70-70--140

    E 27. Rocco Mediate 73-67--140

    E 27. Charlie Wi 67-73--140

    E 27. Spencer Levin 72-68--140

    E 36. Tim Herron 72-69--141
    + 1 36. Mark Calcavecchia 74-67--141
    + 1 36. Chris Stroud 69-72--141
    + 1 36. J.J. Henry 71-70--141
    + 1 36. Briny Baird 72-69--141
    + 1 36. Matt Kuchar 71-70--141
    + 1 36. Michael Letzig 70-71--141
    + 1 36. Greg Owen 72-69--141
    + 1 36. Lucas Glover 71-70--141
    + 1 36. Brian Gay 72-69--141
    + 1 36. Carl Pettersson 72-69--141
    + 1 36. Shaun Micheel 70-71--141
    + 1 36. Darren Clarke 70-71--141
    + 1 49. Robert Garrigus 72-70--142
    + 2 49. Nick O'Hern 73-69--142
    + 2 49. John Senden 69-73--142
    + 2 49. Brian Bateman 69-73--142
    + 2 49. Johnson Wagner 71-71--142
    + 2 49. Tadd Fujikawa 71-71--142
    + 2 49. Brendon de Jonge 72-70--142
    + 2 49. Tim Wilkinson 71-71--142
    + 2 49. Todd Hamilton 72-70--142
    + 2 49. Angel Cabrera 67-75--142
    + 2 49. Davis Love III 73-69--142
    + 2 49. Chris DiMarco 72-70--142
    + 2 49. Gary Woodland 72-70--142
    + 2 49. Derek Fathauer 73-69--142
    + 2 63. Bart Bryant 70-73--143
    + 3 63. Miguel A. Jimenez 70-73--143
    + 3 63. Scott McCarron 72-71--143
    + 3 63. Chris Riley 68-75--143
    + 3 63. Boo Weekley 72-71--143
    + 3 63. Steve Lowery 72-71--143
    + 3 63. Woody Austin 70-73--143
    + 3 63. Marc Leishman 73-70--143
    + 3 63. Leif Olson 73-70--143
    + 3 63. Casey Wittenberg 71-72--143
    + 3 63. Brendon Todd 74-69--143
    + 3 63. John Mallinger 69-74--143
    + 3 63. George McNeill 71-72--143
    + 3 63. Justin Leonard 70-73--143
    + 3 63. Scott Verplank 73-70--143
    + 3 63. Ernie Els 73-70--143
    + 3 63. Brad Adamonis 70-73--143
    + 3 • • •



    Missed the cut



    80. Jonathan Kaye 74-70--144
    + 4 80. Chris Couch 76-68--144
    + 4 80. Stuart Appleby 74-70--144
    + 4 80. Heath Slocum 69-75--144
    + 4 80. Bill Lunde 72-72--144
    + 4 80. Jason Caron 69-75--144
    + 4 80. Billy Mayfair 69-75--144
    + 4 80. Cliff Kresge 72-72--144
    + 4 80. J.B. Holmes 72-72--144
    + 4 80. Joe Ogilvie 71-73--144
    + 4 90. Jerry Kelly 71-74--145
    + 5 90. Jay Williamson 75-70--145
    + 5 90. Paul Goydos 71-74--145
    + 5 90. Andres Romero 73-72--145
    + 5 90. Jimmy Walker 74-71--145
    + 5 90. Tommy Armour III 73-72--145
    + 5 90. John Huston 72-73--145
    + 5 90. Olin Browne 73-72--145
    + 5 90. Bob Estes 70-75--145
    + 5 90. Marc Turnesa 74-71--145
    + 5 90. Richard S. Johnson 73-72--145
    + 5 90. Jonathan Byrd 71-74--145
    + 5 90. James Oh 75-70--145
    + 5 103. Brian Davis 74-72--146
    + 6 103. Brad Faxon 75-71--146
    + 6 103. Steve Flesch 75-71--146
    + 6 103. Ricky Barnes 76-70--146
    + 6 107. Bill Haas 77-70--147
    + 7 107. Robert Gamez 76-71--147
    + 7 107. Peter Lonard 74-73--147
    + 7 107. Chez Reavie 76-71--147
    + 7 107. Ken Duke 74-73--147
    + 7 107. Jarrod Lyle 75-72--147
    + 7 107. Colt Knost 74-73--147
    + 7 107. Scott Gutschewski 77-70--147
    + 7 107. Eric Axley 73-74--147
    + 7 107. Camilo Villegas 73-74--147
    + 7 107. Alan Morin 74-73--147
    + 7 118. Tom Pernice, Jr. 77-71--148
    + 8 118. Brandt Snedeker 79-69--148
    + 8 118. Jason Bohn 77-71--148
    + 8 118. Tim Petrovic 77-71--148
    + 8 118. Greg Kraft 74-74--148
    + 8 118. Ryan Moore 77-71--148
    + 8 118. Peter Tomasulo 76-72--148
    + 8 118. Matt Bettencourt 74-74--148
    + 8 118. Aron Price 73-75--148
    + 8 127. Martin Laird 73-76--149
    + 9 127. Jose Coceres 75-74--149
    + 9 127. Troy Matteson 75-74--149
    + 9 130. Shingo Katayama 71-79--150
    + 10 130. Brian Vranesh 77-73--150
    + 10 130. Ted Purdy 74-76--150
    + 10 130. Mark Wilson 75-75--150
    + 10 130. Rick Price 74-76--150
    + 10 130. Billy Andrade 76-74--150
    + 10 130. Vaughn Taylor 79-71--150
    + 10 130. Sal Spallone 81-69--150
    + 10 138. Webb Simpson 78-73--151
    + 11 139. Justin Rose 73-79--152
    + 12 139. Matt Weibring 78-74--152
    + 12 141. David Duval 82-75--157
    + 17 WD. Glen Day 78-WD


    WD. Mathias Gronberg 89-WD


    WD. Dudley Hart WD
Welcome to Golfweek.com's comments section.
Please review the posting guidlines here: Golfweek.com Community Guidelines.
All accounts must be verified using Disqus email verification

  • PGA
  • CHMP
  • WEB
[[PGAtourn]] Full Leaderboard >
Prev
  • [[player._CurPos]]
  • [[player._Lname]], [[player._Fname]]
  • [[player._TournParRel]]
  • [[player._Thru]]
Next
[[CHMPtourn]] Full Leaderboard >
Prev
  • [[player._CurPos]]
  • [[player._Lname]], [[player._Fname]]
  • [[player._TournParRel]]
  • [[player._Thru]]
Next
[[NWIDtourn]] Full Leaderboard >
Prev
  • [[player._CurPos]]
  • [[player._Lname]], [[player._Fname]]
  • [[player._TournParRel]]
  • [[player._Thru]]
Next