5 Things: Bowditch leads; Mickelson makes cut; more
Friday, March 28, 2014
Despite a double bogey on his final hole, Steven Bowditch leads by a shot after two rounds of the Valero Texas Open.
The Australian shot 5-under 67 Friday at TPC San Antonio and enters Saturday's third round at 8 under. Chad Collins and first-round leader Andrew Loupe are a shot back in second.
Meanwhile, Jordan Spieth and Phil Mickelson bounced back with solid second rounds to earn spots in the weekend.
Here are 5 Things you need to know from Friday in San Antonio:
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1. GOOD ROUND, BAD FINISH: Steven Bowditch entered the final hole of his second round at 10 under. He was bogey-free with five birdies and a hole-out eagle at the 12th through 17 holes, and at one point Friday had a five-shot lead.
But then he got to the par-4 ninth.
Bowditch was right of the green in two shots, but then chunked a chip shot and missed a 9-footer for bogey. He ended up with a double bogey to fall back to 8 under, and instead of shooting 7-under 65, he settled for a 67.
"It was a frustrating way to finish, but it is what it is," Bowditch said. "Hit a couple bad shots on the last hole unfortunately, but all in all, it was good. . . . Happy with it."
Bowditch is in need of a good finish this week. He's missed three of his last four cuts and has just one finish better than T-37 (T-19, AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am).
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2. BAD FINISH, PART II: Chesson Hadley came into this week still without a spot in the Masters, and likely needing a top-3 finish or better to earn an invitation to Augusta National.
After the opening round was completed Friday morning, Hadley, who shot 3-under 69 in his first round, was just two shots off the lead. And early on in his second round, Hadley reached as low as 6 under.
But after birdies at Nos. 11, 12 and 14, Hadley, who started on the back nine, would not record another birdie. Instead, he bogeyed four of his last seven holes, including his final two, to wrap up a 1-over 73.
The top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking after Sunday not already eligible will get Masters invites. Hadley, whose victory in Puerto Rico earlier this season did not get him into Augusta because it was an opposite-field event, is currently 56th.
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3. SHOELESS PHIL: Phil Mickelson entered his final hole Friday at 4 over. At that point, the projected cut was 2 over, meaning Mickelson needed an eagle to assure himself of making the cut.
He went for the green at the par-5 18th in two and nearly found the water right of the green. But a clutch up-and-down for birdie from the edge of the hazard – and with one foot in the water, too – gave him a chance at playing the weekend.
That's because the closing birdie moved Mickelson to 3 over, which is where the projected cut moved to shortly after and then later finished at with 82 players, including Lefty, making the cut.
Mickelson, who is expected to play next week at the Shell Houston Open, has missed out on the weekend twice this season, once after withdrawing from the Farmers Insurance Open and the other after missing the cut at the Honda Classic. He has one top-10 finish, as well.
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4. HANGING AROUND: Chad Collins carded the round of the day Friday, a 6-under 66, to move into a tie for second with first-round leader Andrew Loupe at 7 under.
"It was a good day," said Collins, who made seven birdies in his second round. "I played a lot more solid today and got myself in good position."
Collins, who re-earned his PGA Tour card by finishing 24th last season on the Web.com Tour money list, entered the week having made six of 12 cuts with one top-10 finish (eighth, Humana Challenge).
"I do (feel pressure to start playing better)," Collins said. "I got off to a good start (this week), which is nice. I don't usually get off to a good start, but come summer time I usually kick it in gear and start playing a little bit better, so hopefully this will be the start to it."
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5. SHORT SHOTS: Mickelson's playing competitor, Jordan Spieth, played himself into the weekend with a 2-under 70. Spieth is 1 over. . . . Fred Funk made his third cut in eight starts this season after shooting 70 to remain at 2 under. . . . Also at 2 under is Matt Kuchar, who made three birdies and three bogeys en route to a second-round 70. . . . Ricky Barnes and Bryce Molder withdrew during the second round, each citing personal reasons, while Dudley Hart withdrew with a bad back.
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