After a so-so round of one over par 72 on Thursday, Tiger Woods looked a lot better on Friday with a three under 68 on the day. While his driving accuracy and greens in regulation were the same as they were on his first day, Tiger only needed 27 putts on the day as opposed to 29 for his first round, and that made all the difference. One of those putts was a 40 footer for eagle on the 16th hole, and that, along with only one bogey on the day, helped to propel him nearly into the top 10 heading into the weekend. As I stated in my preview article for this week's event, the key for Tiger is hit putting; if he can knock in a few putts and stay consistent he will have a great chance to win this week, and it seems to me as though he has that consistency going right now.
Similar to Woods, Mahan has been a solid player with his long game but has been inconsistent with his putter from time to time. Hunter started off well with a one under par 70 but really got it going on Friday with a six under 65 that included seven birdies and one bogey on the day. The difference was actually his long game and not his putting, as he hit over 80% of the fairways and greens on day two as opposed to around 70% on Thursday. Giving yourself more opportunities to make birdie can make all the difference, and combined with his great iron play Mahan didn't have to worry about the putter all that much with makeable opportunities throughout the round. Hunter already has two wins on the year, and I think that will help him tremendously now that he has a two shot lead heading into Saturday.
Among those missing the cut at the 2012 AT&T National, I think the most surprising one was K.J. Choi, who won the event back in 2007. A lot of it had to do with the first round, in which he shot an eight over round of 79 and pretty much played himself right out of the tournament. He hit less than 40% of the greens in regulation on Thursday, and as all golfers know, if you have to scramble throughout the entire round you are going to struggle. Combine that with poor putting and one can see why Choi did so poorly. Choi had a great season last year, so hopefully he can get things turned around before the British Open.
Ryan Kekoufski is a scratch golfer who has both played and watched the sport for well over a decade.
- Sports & Recreation
- Tiger Woods
- Hunter Mahan
- Congressional Country Club