Five things: Tiger, Phil in contention at Torrey
SAN DIEGO – Five things you need to know as we head toward the third round of the Farmers Insurance Open:
1.) Bill Haas is your 36-hole leader after rounds of 67-66. He’s two shots ahead of Anthony Kim. Haas lost a playoff at last week’s Bob Hope Classic, his third runner-up finish in his past six PGA Tour starts. He also won last year’s Viking and was second at McGladrey. Haas’ two victories last year (he also won the Hope) were the first two of his career.
“When you start contending, you start believing you belong there,” Haas said. He was a consensus college player of the year in 2004, but needed five and a half seasons as a pro to pick up his first victory.
2.) Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods both shot 69 on Friday. Mickelson’s round was on the easier North Course. Woods played the South, the site of his ’08 U.S. Open victory.
Mickelson is tied for third at 136, three back of Haas. Woods is five off the lead.
Mickelson has hit just eight of 28 fairways (T-76), but is second in the field in greens in regulation (29/36). Amy Mickelson has followed her husband throughout the tournament.
“It’s been a lot of fun having Amy out here this week,” Phil Mickelson said. “She just looks terrific. After a year and a half we’re in such a better place, and it’s been a lot of fun having her out here.”
It was an up-and-down round for Woods. He birdied Nos. 3-6 to go 4 under for the round. He followed with bogeys on Nos. 11, 14 and 15, then birdied Nos. 16 and 18. Woods has hit 11 of 28 fairways and 26 of 36 greens through two rounds.
When asked if his 69 was the best score he could’ve shot he said, “If you take into account how I lost it in the middle part of the round, certainly. ... I could have shot even par. But I got it back to 3-under par, which is respectable considering my start.”
3.) Anthony Paolucci, an 18-year-old amateur, shot 70-71 to make the cut. In two rounds, the USC commit has 11 birdies, eighth-most in the field. He’s also 28th in the field in driving distance, at 293.3 yards. Paolucci lives in nearby Del Mar, but grew up in Dallas, where he became good friends with Jordan Spieth, the teen who played so well at last year’s Byron Nelson.
4.) The group of seven players tied for third place is a colorful one. Rickie Fowler wore pink and baby blue in each of the first two rounds. It’ll be an all-orange weekend, as players will be dressing in school colors for University Day on Saturday, and he traditionally wears orange on Sundays. Bubba Watson, of pink-shaft fame, also is at 136, as is Loudmouth-wearing John Daly.
The last of Daly’s five PGA Tour victories came at Torrey Pines in 2004. He’s seeking his first top 10 since his playoff loss to Tiger Woods at the 2005 WGC-American Express Championship.
Hunter Mahan and 2010 champion Ben Crane are other notables tied for third.
5.) Jhonattan Vegas isn’t looking like a one-week wonder. Consecutive 69s have last week’s Bob Hope champ in 12th place, five shots behind Haas. Torrey Pines is a special place for Vegas. His sixth-place finish at the 2002 Junior Worlds here helped convince him he should move to the U.S. to pursue his golf career.
Vegas will play with Woods on Saturday.