With hot putter, Yang shoots 67 at Doral

Y.E. Yang

DORAL, Fla. – The two combatants who battled down the final 18 holes of the 2009 PGA Championship at Hazeltine National shot identical 5-under 67s on Friday in the second round of the WGC-Cadillac Championship. But with most of the ink dedicated to Tiger Woods, who tied his second best score of the young PGA Tour season, it seems only appropriate to salute the winner of that PGA, Y.E. Yang.

Since winning his only major, Yang has struggled to get into the winner's circle again. A runner-up finish at last year’s Honda Classic was his only real chance for another victory.

Yang has struggled in 2012, with his best finish in a stroke-play event a tie for 30th at last week’s Honda Classic. Even there, he failed to break par. In fact, Yang had broken par only two times in 13 rounds on the PGA Tour in 2012 before Friday’s 5-under performance that included an eagle, five birdies and two bogeys.

“The putter surely saved my game today,” Yang said. “I’ve been working on my putting.”

Yang used his flatstick to perfection on the windy greens of the TPC Blue Monster. Needing only 25 putts – including 11 one-putt greens – the Korean made nine putts over 5 feet and three over 10 feet to record his best round of the year.

“My game has definitely been on the rise,” Yang said. “Last week was insightful.”

Playing with major champions Vijay Singh and Darren Clarke, Yang looked outmatched from tee to green for much of the round, but his short game was good enough to rank him on top in the putts made distance category for two rounds and third in the strokes gained putting category.

The question now: Can the putter, which has been the only saving grace in his game in 2012, continue to stay hot?

Yang is hoping so, with seven shots separating him from 36-hole leader Bubba Watson.

“If I can keep it up, I got two more days to play,” Yang said. “So we will see how it goes.”

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