What a difference one day makes.
On Thursday there were only about a dozen or so players that were able to shoot under par. On Friday, there were less than two dozen that were not able to shoot under par. It wasn't as if the wind suddenly stopped either, as it was still gusty at times on Friday, especially during the morning and early afternoon. More than anything else, it shows how talented a field this event has to offer this week.
Among those going low on Friday was Bubba Watson, who shot an incredible round of 10 under par 62, which included an eagle, nine birdies and one bogey. For those who are not familiar with Bubba Watson, he is one of the longest drivers of the golf ball on the PGA Tour today, and is in my opinion the most interesting person to watch whenever he plays an event.
Why? He almost never hits a shot straight, and it is neat to watch how he curves the ball from hole to hole, around trees, and so on. With that said, he hits it so long that he usually only has short irons into par 4s and long irons into par 5s, and all Bubba needs to do is make a few putts and he will be near the top of the leaderboard. On Friday he was able to do just that, giving himself short putts for birdie all day long and capitalizing. If he comes out on Saturday and puts up another solid round Watson could easily run away with this event, so we will have to wait and see.
Justin Rose had a solid day as well with an eight under par 64 to put him one shot behind Watson. His day included eight birdies and no bogeys, and really put on a show with his iron play alongside Bubba (they played in the same group with Mark Wilson). He was the 36 hole leader at the Honda Classic the previous week but faltered with two below-average rounds, and I don't think he will be able to stay with Watson this week either.
Among the other notables, Keegan Bradley finished at -8 overall, Luke Donald -6, Tiger Woods -5, and Rory McIlroy -2.
Ryan Kekoufski is a scratch golfer who has both played and watched the sport for over a decade and currently runs The Yips Blog, a blog dedicated solely to the game of golf. He covers sports for the Yahoo! Contributor Network, and currently resides in Virginia.
- Bubba Watson