5 Things: Every in position for first win after 62
PHOTOS: Greenbrier Classic, Round 2
From Bubba Watson to Phil Mickelson, a look at the second round at the Greenbrier Classic.
It’s a cluster at the top of the leaderboard at The Greenbrier Classic, but a day after Tommy Gainey and Johnson Wagener fired 8-under 62s, Matt Every’s 62 in the second-round propelled him to the top for a one-shot lead in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va.
Five players are tied for second at 8 under: Daniel Summerhays, Bill Lunde, Steven Bowditch, Russell Henley, and first-round co-leader Wagner. Another four players are at 7-under.
Not playing the weekend is Phil Mickelson, who shot 2-under 68 Friday but at 2 over, missed the cut by three shots.
Here are 5 Things you need to know from Friday’s second round at Old White TPC:
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1. SEARCHING FOR VICTORY: Matt Every finished runner-up twice last season, a sign that the former University of Florida player might be close to securing his first PGA Tour victory.
But Every has finished inside the top-25 just twice this season and has missed the cut in half of his 20 starts, including three straight entering the week.
Yet Every finds himself with the 36-hole lead at the Greenbrier and in position to capture that elusive first Tour victory.
Every made eight birdies Friday en route to an 8-under 62, which equalled the first-round performances from Tommy Gainey and Johnson Wagner. Every, who leads by a shot at 9 under, birdied his final hole, the par-4 ninth, to break free from what was then a six-way tie for the lead at 8 under.
"I played really well tee-to-green, finally made some putts," said Every, who made 26 putts Friday after needing 32 in the first round. "I haven't made anything all year and it just finally happened today. (I've) been waiting for it."
It was Every's best round of his Tour career and his lowest round of this season by three shots.
2. SUMMER TURNAROUND? Daniel Summerhays' third full season on the PGA Tour hasn't gone the way he had hoped.
But should he turn things around this week at the Greenbrier Classic, he'll have his putter to thank.
Summerhays, who has just one top-10 and has missed nine cuts in 18 starts, needed just 49 putts to get through two rounds. He made 23 putts en route to a first-round 5-under 65 before hitting 26 on Friday and moving to 8 under after a second-round 67.
Two of his three birdies came from inside 3 feet.
"Those easy birdies are always fun," Summerhays said. "I think the only difference from yesterday is I just didn't make as many putts, you know, but again, I'm giving myself some good chances and they'll start falling on the weekend."
Summerhays missed 21 cuts in 29 events in 2011, his first full season on the PGA Tour. Last year, he had more success, notching four top-10s in 26 starts.
He has missed his last three cuts this year, though, and hasn't finished better than T-26 in eight starts since a T-7 showing at the Valero Texas Open. As a result, Summerhays stressed how taking some pressure off of himself has been the key for his strong first two rounds this week.
"I think I learned some things the last little bit, just try not to be as perfect," Summerhays said. "That's my personality and it hurts me. I mean, that's why I'm here, but that's what hurts me sometimes, trying to be too exact, too perfect."
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3. CUT STREAK: Phil Mickelson failed to make the cut in his third consecutive start in the Greenbrier Classic. Mickelson effectively took himself out of the game with a first-round 74, following Friday with a 2-under 68 that was too little, too late.
Mickelson had three bogeys and one birdie on the front nine on Friday, but made four birdies on the back.
Despite finishing outside the cutline on Friday, Mickelson said he was pleased with his 68. He said distance control with his irons continued to plague him at Old White TPC.
“We’re a couple thousand feet, we’ve been practicing at sea level, so obviously it’s going to go longer,” Mickelson said. “It’s the same altitude as Phoenix but it goes a different yardage and I haven’t quite figured it out.”
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VIDEO: Michael Kim wins 2013 Haskins Award
4. HASKINS WATCH: California junior Michael Kim, winner of the 2013 Haskin Award, will make the cut on the number with rounds of 70-69 for a 1-under 139 total. Kim was 3 under through 15 holes, but bogeyed Nos. 7 and 8 (his 16th and 17th holes) coming in. This is Kim’s first non-major start of his career.
Kim’s 2012-13 season earned him multiple accolades after the season. Along with the Haskin award, Kim won the Jack Nicklaus Award and the Pac-12 Golfer of the Year. He had 10 top-10 finishes in 14 starts, including four wins. He led the Golden Bears to 12 wins in 14 starts as a team, and a third place showing at the NCAA Championship.
The 19-year-old was also the low amateur at the U.S. Open at Merion. Kim shot 73-70-71-76, 6-over 290 to tie for 17th.
A sponsor’s exemption was first given to the Haskin’s Award winner in 2012. That year, Justin Thomas made the cut. The Haskin’s Award winner is two-for-two in making the cut in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va.
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5. SHORT SHOTS: Russell Henley is enjoying himself on and off the course this week. He is T-2 (67-65) after the second round, and has taken part in the extra curricular activities at the Greenbrier. On Thursday, he attended the Kenny Chesney and on Saturday he will go to the Areosmith concert. . . . First-round co-leader Tommy Gainey fired a 1-over 71 on Friday. He is T-7 heading into the weekend and is looking for his first win since the 2012 McGladrey Classic. . . . Ryder Cup captain Tom Watson will make the cut with rounds of 68-69 at Old White TPC. Waston three-putted three times on Friday. He said, “I left shots out on the golf course today.” . . . Matt Jones birdied his final six holes to shoot 4-under 66 and enter the weekend at 5 under. . . . John Daly WD’d with an elbow injury. Daly will have surgery on the elbow next week and will be out three to four months. This was his 38th career WD in a PGA Tour event. . . . Amateur Pat Carter, a volunteer assistant coach at Marshall University, missed the cut. Carter is a 13-time West Virginia Amateur champion (how he earned an exemption into the field this week).
-Julie Williams and Cassie Stein also contributed