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Friday, November 11, 2011

What? Tiger's Leading?

Ok, the second round isn't over yet... but did anybody expect Tiger to be leading the second round? I would have believed he would be in the mix come Sunday afternoon, but I certainly didn't expect him to get going this quickly.

Granted, the stats at his scorecard page seem to be slightly off. I'm pretty sure Tiger didn't hit 155.56% of his GIR in the second round! But the figure on the leaderboard -- a 77.78% average -- seems to be correct. That would be about 14 greens per round. And the 29 putts per round figure seems plausible as well.

Thus far Tiger has no eagles, but he does have 11 birdies and 2 bogeys. At the time I'm writing this, he leads at -9 after rounds of 68-67. A number of players are still on the course but, as happened Thursday, the wind has come up and most of those near the top after Thursday's round seem to be going backward. Also, players are finding the kikuyugrass to be a tricky putting surface. I heard Fred Couples say that kikuyugrass is the same grass found at Riviera, which he says is why he plays well there and in Australia.

I suspect that players are struggling in part because the greens are so big. I heard a commentator describe one green as being 2/3 the size of a football field! Add the severe slopes on some of them and you can see where poor iron play would seriously affect your putting ability. Based on what I've seen, Tiger has been getting the ball on the correct level most of the time, and the putts he has missed have often just lipped out.

So will Tiger continue to play well this weekend? Will he actually manage to win this thing and really get the rumor mill going? It's too early to tell. But there's one thing I do know...

As a Presidents Cup team captain, Fred Couples is starting to look like a genius.

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