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Friday, May 13, 2011

Ryans and Tigers and Beards, Oh My!

This certainly isn't Oz, as Blogger was down for the better part of a day and prevented me from posting last night. But I thought I'd take a quick look at how things stand at the TPC, circa midday Friday.

The Ryans in the field (Moore and Palmer) diverged early Friday. At -2 and -1 respectively after the first round, they now sit at -4 and +2 after the second. Palmer probably won't be around for the weekend... and his trip home required no ruby slippers.

Tiger, as you already know, is sidelined again by his injuries. Tiger's reactions during his interviews Thursday certainly indicate that he was surprised when his leg took a turn for the worse. Having dealt with a calf pull recently, I can sympathize; I re-injured my calf after I thought it was ok and ended up disrupting my exercise program for another week to make sure it healed. Golf Channel talked to a doctor who said it's entirely possible for it to heal before the U.S. Open, so at least that's some good news.

As for beards... Lucas Glover posted the second-best round of the day Thursday (he has yet to tee off as I'm writing this) and a bearded Hunted Mahan is finishing the 18th at -7, two off the -10 lead set by David Toms (who has no beard at all).

As for the other leaders, Graeme McDowell sits at -8; his game seems to be bouncing back nicely after a few flat weeks. Thursday's leader Nick Watney hasn't teed off yet, and Steve Stricker has just posted -8 after taking only 9 putts on his back nine! Paul Goydos is just a stroke behind, although he's still on the course.

So here's the top of the leaderboard at midday. Numbers in parentheses tell you what hole the player is on, and SP means they're still to play:
  • -10: David Toms
  • -8: Graeme McDowell, Steve Stricker, Nick Watney (SP)
  • -7: Hunter Mahan, Paul Goydos (15), Aaron Baddeley, Lucas Glover (SP)
BTW, Mark O'Meara dropped back to -4 after a 74 Friday, and Phil Mickelson got off to a blistering start (-4 on his first 9) but stumbled coming in, posting another 71 to put him at -2 for the tournament.

And that brings you up-to-date. No smoke machines behind the curtain here... just railroad ties in plain sight.

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