By petedirenzo
Friday, August 06, 2010

Beslow-78x73 Golf Magazine's Steve Beslow live blogged the second round of the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. LeaderboardCourse Profile | TV Schedule 5:55 That's going to do it for me tonight, ladies and gentlemen. Thanks as always for your great comments, hopefully that's a sign of things to come--join us next week for the year's last major, the PGA Championship at Whistling Straits. 5:53 Everyone's in the clubhouse: Retief Goosen still leads at -7, with Phil Mickelson and Justin Leonard just a stroke behind. Remember though, this is a WGC event, so the field is crazy strong--and there's still a lot of golf to be played.

5:48 Can't get over how tough the course played today, after it seemed like it was setting up to be easy-going earlier in the day. My guess is that the greens weren't just slow, but inconsistent. Hopefully the ball will be rolling a little more predictably the rest of the weekend. 5:45 Anthony Kim saves par to finish +11 for the tournament so far. Great to see him swinging, regardless of his score. He's such a huge part of the US Ryder Cup equation--without him in at least good (if not great) form, the Americans might as well stay home at and play with themselves. 5:42 The only "surprise" toward the top of the leaderboard is Swede Peter Hanson who's T4 at -5. I don't know much about him, but he's been a serviceable player at the very least, with one win this year. 5:39 Phil and Rory both finish out their days with a par. Phil's in a great spot, just one off the lead. But don't take your eyes off McIlroy tomorrow. He actually had the better ball-striking day of the two of them, and with a few more clutch putts he could easily be a force down the stretch this weekend. 5:36 Phil's ball actually rolled down out of the deep stuff and into a bunker, one of the few times that's ever a good thing. Phil being Phil hit a MONSTER flop out of the sand and landed it within 5 feet.  5:34 Rory sticks the green on 18, while Phil leaves his a little short, which puts him in a very tough spot--in deep rough (that's given everyone fits so far) and a pretty sizable ridge in front of him. How high a ridge, I could not tell. 5:32 Els can't finish his day in style. He pars the hole and the day to stay at -1, still very much in the race if not in the thick of things. He was clearly furious about his missed birdie chance...I'm pretty sure I saw him blink. 5:29 Mickelson hits hardwood again on 18, but gets a friendly bounce back into the first cut of rough. Phil's having a very good round for a guy who's spent so much time communing with the forrest.  5:26 Sir Nick barely comments on what makes Bubba Watson so easy to like, immediately changing the subject. That's probably because he doesn't like Bubba Watson. Which, I can assure you, says a lot more about Nick Faldo than it does about Bubba Watson. 5:24 Watson says that he struggled with the speed of the green, likely because of the rain last night. While I'm sure that's true, Bubba, unless you were putting off the tee, it doesn't really explain your 71. 5:21 Both McIlroy and Mickelson par 17 (seriously impressive considering Mickelson's wayward drive). Phil's already sitting pretty, but Rory could really use to move into that pack at -4 before tomorrow's round. 5:20 Reader Clyde Weiss with a great suggestion for what to call the non-cut cut day:

How about "change your partner day"
5:18  5:15 5:12 5:10 5:06 5:03 5:01

 If Phil keeps playing as he is (and likewise for Tiger), there's a seriously good chance he'll take over the #1 spot. Hard to say how big a deal that really is, but it certainly doesn't feel as monumental as it probably would have had it happened a year ago.

4:59 4:57 4:54 4:52 4:50 4:48 4:46 4:44 4:42 4:40 4:38 4:36 4:33 4:31 4:29 4:27 4:24 4:21
Tiger has quite a knack recently for turning an 80 into a 74...impressive in a way, but not nearly good enough. Not a fan of his, never have been, but one would think that sooner or later he is going to turn this thing around. Maybe Tiger will be making that call to Sean Foley!
4:17 4:14 4:11 4:09 Phil and Rory will both settle for par at the 12th. It seems like each time one of them gets ready to make a charge they take a step back. Something tells me Phil's not done for the day though. 4:07  Justin: I think Barnes is a very interesting possibility, as Ryan Moore would be for similar reasons. Still, I doubt either of them are going to make the cut with so many more established players (and winners) to choose from. I agree with both of your other ones though, both Cink and Watson are very likely. 4:05 Watson is completely falling apart on the 3rd...he's got a double-bogey putt with some meat on the bone. 4:03
Watson is great with his wedges, but not today. His pitch into the green barely cleared the water on 3, after another terrible pitch after that 340-yard bomb on his first nine. Sir Nick was almost offended by that last effort, he literally had no words for it. 4:01 3:59 3:56 3:53 3:50 Ryder Cup points 3:46 3:44
Concerning Steve Stricker and his disappearances in the majors, I think you chalk it up to his game - doesn't have the length to hit short irons into the greens so he's hitting long irons in, and if you watch his ball flight its actually quite low. Whenever there are rock hard greens, you always see Steve's ball skidding off to the back rough or scampering into bunkers, he puts very little spin on it and the ball trajectory has it coming in hot. Consequently he isn't scoring enough to counter balance the necessary bogeys that occur during major championships, and he skids down the leaderboards.   Simply put, he can't hit the high, soft 5 irons that a Woods or Mickelson can, therefore he can't hold the greens. His best chance, in my eye, is actually at a links course where his game should shine. But historically speaking, he has never fared well at the British Open either.
3:40 3:37 3:34 3:32 3:31 3:29 3:27 3:25 3:23 3:22 3:20 3:19 3:17 3:15 3:11 3:09 3:05 3:04 3:02 3:00 2:57 2:54 2:52
What about the dreaded "no one wins a major after winning the previous week" curse? Would Phil be better off with a easy runner up or third place finish?
2:50 2:48 2:47 2:46 2:43 badly 2:40 2:38 2:35 2:32

Cheesehead (and #4 player in the world) Steve Stricker makes par to stay at even for the day, -2 for the tourney through 4. He's obviously got his mind on Whistling Straits, but it would be nice for him to get some momentum going in there, as well as he was playing earlier in the year this could be his best chance for his first major win.

2:28 2:26 2:23 2:21 2:19 2:18 2:15 2:14 2:12 2:10 2:08 2:06 2:04 2:02 2:00

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