By Fred Albers, PGA TOUR.COM Correspondent
LAS VEGAS — For the second day in a row, scoring conditions were perfect. There was no wind, while the greens remained soft and receptive. Friday had an additional scoring factor: it was overcast for much of the afternoon. The cloudy skies allowed the greens to retain moisture and gave golfers a better look at the surfaces. Under a bright glare, depth and color get washed out, making it hard to judge approaches and read greens. That was not the case on Friday. The overcast skies made reading greens like turning the pages of a book.
Sponsor day: Jonas Blixt has a tradition which he calls, "sponsor day." Every Friday he remembers to thank the companies that have supported his rookie season and that includes Puma Golf. In Vegas, that meant a bright orange pair of golf shoes. Blixt could have safely walked through the Maine woods during deer hunting season unharmed.
Loving it: You could not blame Davis Love III if he was both mentally and physically tired this wee, but the Ryder Cup captain has competed well, with one exception. Love has struggled on the par 5s. He has played six par 5s and is an unsightly 1 over for the holes. Love has five pars and one bogey due to a three-putt on Friday morning at the 16th hole. Love says he’s hit good shots into the par 5s but hasn’t finished off the putts. On the plus side, Love has played 12 par 3s and is 3 under for those holes.
Long John: John Daly attacked TPC Summerlin on Friday making nine 3s, including one for eagle at the ninth. It’s not surprising, Daly is ranked fifth in driving this week with an average of 329.5 yards per hit but it’s his putting that accounted for his second-round 63. Daly has taken 26 and 23 putts through the first two rounds and is ranked second this week in strokes gained-putting. He has found a way to drive for show and putt for dough.
Long ball: The dry desert air in Las Vegas offers little resistance to golf balls. Players are hitting it phenomenal distances this week. Jason Day is averaging 335.8 yards per drive. Nick Watney is at 334.3 and John Merrick a healthy 330.8. There are a whopping 82 players that have averaged 300 or more yards per drive. To give you an idea, Justin Leonard averages 280.6 yards per drive this year — this week he is averaging 304.7 off the tee. That’s a combination of desert air and altitude.
Fred Albers is a course reporter for SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio. For more information on SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio, click here.
- John Daly