5:56 Rose shows his steel and closes his round at -7. So far it's same old, same old for Rose who has now played brilliantly in the first two rounds of each of his last three tournaments. He's got to be peeved that he didn't get to play in the US Open despite winning the week before. 5:54 JB Holmes throws a huge putt down to finish -3. Man to beat? depends on what his playing partner, Rose does right here. 5:51 Hoffman bogeys 9, which ends his day at -4. A bit of a disappointment after his hot start, but he's in striking distance of what would be the biggest win of his career. 5:50 I'm going on record as not being happy with how long it takes Charlie Wi to putt…but I'll forgive him as long as he keeps making them. He gets birdie to go to -6, tied for second. 5:48 BTW Furyk ended his day at -1. Not bad for the old warhorse. 5:45 Charlie Hoffman takes a Herculean swing that doesn't exactly work out. When Faldo says something like "how in the world do you get a 3-wood that high" you've done something wrong. He ends up in the rough that will someday make up the "Faldo Memorial Bunker". 5:43 Watney wastes a good approach to finish the day at -3. Still can't be too unhappy with the day. 5:41 He remember Aaron Baddeley (-2)? Me neither. 5:40 Day's post-round interview is nothing short of charming. "I played really awful today," he said. You can tell he knows that if he had hit a few more fairways he would have dominated this course. But still, he's right in the thick of things and should be very happy with where he is. He's headed right to the range, got to respect that from a guy who just shot 68 on a tough course. 5:38 Rose rolls home what had to be a 25-footer for birdie. He's now at -7 and cruising. You almost hope for his stake that some guys stay close behind him, the last thing he needs is another 3-shot lead going into Sunday. 5:37 Charlie Wi saves par at 16 to stay at -5, he's had some rough patches but can't be in a much better spot than he is right now. 5:35 Watney's at -3 right now and should be quite content to play the bird dog for the next couple of days. He hasn't won this year, but he's played well and I think he's one of those Americans that could make some noise at the British, especially if he can get his long game in order. 5:33 Nick Watney manages to fly the green with his second shot on a 520-yard par-5…maybe he should lay off the gym for a couple days. 5:32 Day will come in at par on 18, finishing his round at 68 and tied for the lead at -6. With the way that he was spraying the ball on the back nine, he's got to feel great about himself and his chances going into the weekend. 5:31 Well I guess miracles do happen, because Hoffman drains that par putt, a spectacular save to keep him at -5. 5:29 Hoffman becomes another victim of the 8th green, as his birdie putt is incredibly short. If he makes par it will be a minor miracle. 5:27 Worth mentioning, I was watching the Euro play in Paris a bit this morning, and couldn't help but notice how uncomfortable Lee Westwood looked. His ankle is seriously bothering him, and I think it's going to be one of the big stories heading into St. Andrews. 5:24 Jason Day puts one far right again, and almost by reflex Nick Faldo says he's in the bunker again. Luckily, there isn't any bunker right of the green, but I agree Nick, if there were one, that's where they'd put it. 5:22 Rose comes up short on an eagle putt, but leaves himself in a great position to move to -6. Can't say enough about the way he's playing…well, i could but I feel like it wouldn't take a whole lot to jinx him at this point. 5:19 I love Cleveland's pitch for why you should buy the CG15: "The Man's about to make us stop selling these, so get them while you can." Wasn't that Remington's pitch right after Obama got elected? 5:15 Furyk loves my confidence and hits one inside 8 feet at the par-3 17th…also apparently he got to even at some point, so this will be a birdie putt to get to -1. 5:13 Reader Brian Sullivan's take on Jim Furyk's struggle out there today: Sorry, Furyk seems
like a great guy, but after everyone talked about what a great Open
pick would be, he bombed. Masters too. Every major you hear his name,
and mostly, he tanks. Lack of length, and nothing else to make up for
it I think has him cooked.I'm going to mostly disagree with you on this one, although I agree that Furyk is too often picked as a major contender and too often doesn't live up to it (although as someone who ALWAYS picks Steve Stricker to win majors, I understand why people do it). The thing about Jim Furyk is that he has such an unbelievable understanding of golf, and today is a perfect example of it. He's hit some awful, awful shots, and yet he's still only +1 for the tourney and somewhat in contention. Meanwhile, Tiger, who's hit some brilliant shots, sits just on the cut line. 5:09 Day's par putt is absolute perfection. He's playing aggressively and he's right to, because he's on his game today. If he keeps putting like that, he's going to be the man to beat, even if his approaches have been letting him down. 5:07 TV ratings aren't the only thing that suffers when Tiger's off the course. The crowds are noticeably sparcer this afternoon than they were this morning or yesterday, which is kind of disappointing. You expect the casual viewers to be watching on the tube, not the course, so you'd think the golf-starved Philly area would want to watch some golf. Maybe the PGA Tour has largely ignored it for a reason. 5:05 Day goes right at the flag with his bunker try, and I know I can call that hubris…he's going to have a tough putt to try and save par, but at lest it'll be uphill. 5:04 Jim Furyk is puttering around at +1, which is actually somewhat miraculous, because every shot I've seen him hit today has been completely atrocious. I don't think this is the Open tuneup he was looking for. 5:02 Jason Day took a 4-iron on the 220-yard 8th. I would have loved to see how close he got to the pin, but he managed to completely push the ball towards the greenside bunker. I'd call it hubris, but for all I know he was just trying to play it safely to the front of the green. 4:59 JB Holmes is quietly making his move. He's birdied two in a row to move to -3. With the tees where they are today you'd think he's licking his chops. This is a good chance for him to make a move. 4:57 Charlie Wi makes a great lag putt and saves par at the 14th to stay at -5…it's a crowded and varied group at the top, between established vets, young guns and also-rans. 4:55 Fowler obviously agreed with me, he pushed an easy par putt and will actually end his day at +6, so he's probably already on his way to the airport. 4:54 Charlie Hoffman follows an absolute BOMB with a chunk that looked like it came off a max-handicapper. I'd love to blame the course on that one, but Hoffman just did not get it done. 4:53 Rickie Fowler is going to finish at +4, so (at the moment) he's done for the weekend. Honestly, I think it might be better for him. He's too young to be playing this much golf. He's got the talent to be a contender at the British even this year, so I'd hate for him to get worn out. It's no secret that your first year on Tour can be an absolute grind. 4:49 Another great question about the cut, this one from Brian Sullivan. We're not awfully close to the awful MDF ("made cut did not finish") cutoff, it's 78 and right now 71 players are at +1 or better. If a few guys slip to +4 and the cut line moves…I'd rather not even think about it. 4:47 Justin Rose makes par to stick at -5. He's having a great run the last couple months. Best golf of his life? I'd think so. 4:45 Reader Justin Johnson is wondering what we're all wondering: if Tiger's mental state is so shaken that he can't get it done with all of these distractions. Now, a real journalist wouldn't presume to get inside Tiger's head, but as my mother always reminds me, I'm not a real journalist. I'm on the side of those that thinks Tiger's not distracted so much as rusty. He had a lot going on in his life when he was at his best (even though it wasn't as contentious it was still as demanding)…I still think he's only one or two good days away from turning it all around, distractions or no. 4:40 Reader Mike is wondering about the cut policy–it's top-70 and ties, which right now stands with the group tied at +3 (a group that includes one Tiger Woods). 4:37 Brian Gay took my advice to heart (we've always had a connection), he's picked up the two strokes he dropped earlier in the day to move back to -3. If he's in the hunt late in the tournament he could take advantage of the less experienced guys at the top. 4:35 Day makes par to stick at one back. I think he's perfectly happy to draft behind Hoffman, especially the way third day leaders have been getting devoured on Tour the last few weeks. 4:33 Charlie Hoffman drains a mid-range birdie putt to move to the outright lead. More hair jokes at his expense from the TV crew, but something tells me that if he ends the day in the position he's in right now they'll be talking more about his game and less about his luscious, bouncing locks…okay, I'm a little obsessed with his hair too. 4:29 Interesting quote from reader Shoshana: I don't think guys like Tiger and Phil get enough credit for the number of interviews they do, even after awful/frustrating days. Especially in comparison to the amount of grief they receive if they say something that seems the least bit controversial. If you do 5-6 interviews per tournament a lot of them when you haven't had a great round those sorts of comments are inevitable, as both Phil and tiger have proven this year. I'd say I agree with you in spirit, if not in practice. Golf is one of the few sports where the player can actually give you insight into every moment on the course (a pitcher in baseball can tell you what he was thinking, but not what the hitter or even his catcher was), so we expect specific answers from our interviewees. If you've seen some of Tiger's post-round pressers, you know that's not always what we get. 4:27 Speaking of which, I'd like to say hi to all of our fans at pgatour.com reading the blog today. How do I know they're reading? They live in Ponte Vedre, so what else could they possibly be doing? 4:25 A win here would be huge for Day, pushing him towards the front of the FedEx Cup rankings, which a friend of mine who works at the PGA Tour assures me actually means something. 4:24 Jason Day juuuuust misses a birdie try on three. Man, if his reaction is anything to go by he really wants this tournament. Even he knows how close he is to being a serious challenger on Tour. 4:21 Hoffman saves par on the third to stay in the lead at -5. Guys are taking an awful long time standing over their putts this afternoon, even (or especially) their short ones. 4:19 Atwals at -2 and he's going to need a smooth stroke from about 7 feet to stay there…I bet he wishes they only played 9 today. 4:17 Have to wonder if the change to Aronimink has cost the AT&T National some of its better players. Sure, the course is great, but you couldn't pay me to spend 5 days in Philadelphia either. 4:14 Day makes a truly mediocre putt to bogey 8, which will cost him the outright lead and move him back to a tie with Hoffman at -5. The logo on his Rossa putter was in full view on that one…that's not the kind of advertisement TaylorMade's looking for. 4:13 Brian Gay's going to drop a stroke and move back to -1. He needs to take advantage of tournaments like this (without all the big boys), because that's where he's going to do the most damage. 4:11 Speaking of Fowler, his outfit today is a little less pink but no less fashion-forward than yesterday's. It's a mint-green on white ensemble. I'm actually digging his shirt, but his hat is just terrible. Come on Puma, dress your boy right! 4:09 Rickie Fowler remains outside the cutline at +4, and he's not looking great on 15. I don't think he's going to get it done this week. 4:08 Hoffman goes bird hunting and moves to -5. Could we be looking at Hoffman's second coming out party? 4:07 If you don’t know Jeff Overton, then you’ve clearly never been one of the lucky patrons hit by his stray drives. Overton is a classic bomb and gouger, near the top of the pack in driving distance but hitting barely over 50% of his fairways. He’s been playing great so far this year though, with 2 place finishes at Zurich and the Byron Nelson, plus a T3 at Colonial. But you already knew all that. 4:05 I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that Jeff Overton is in the clubhouse at -4, good for second at the moment. 4:02 Okay, I'm not going to pretend this is the most exciting tournament of all time, but does anyone else have Ryder Cup fever? Every time see Nick Watney line up to putt, I have visions of a beer-bellied guy with an American flag painted on his chest barely holding back a scream…maybe I've been watching too much World Cup. 3:54 While I'm briefly on Tiger, I know the $750 million divorce has been shot down, but isn't the fact that it didn't seem out of the realm of possibility crazy? I mean, $750 million shouldn't be considered a "marriage settlement" amount of money, it should be considered a "bail out the Greek economy" amount of money. 3:51 TGC's requisite Tiger Woods recap is short on highlights (and also lowlights) which has become typical of Tiger this year. It's not that he's playing so terribly, it's just that he's pulling down far too many pars and far too few birdies. The old Tiger could shrug off a few bogies in a round. When he's making so many pars, each bogey becomes so much more painful. 3:48 Nicholas Thompson's swing is downright violent. Reminds me of something you'd see in Bob Crane's bio-pic. Too soon? 3:46 I don’t think it can be overstated how important a successful Atwal could be to this sport. India’s got over 1.14 BILLION people, and currently one of them plays on the PGA Tour (and he’s playing on a sponsor’s exemption). Talk about a growth opportunity—India could be the perfect market for golf (a sport absolutely desperate for new players), but its visibility in the game is somewhere between non-existent and pitiful. 3:43 Atwal tightens up for another 3-putt, bringing him to -3…not a good second part of the day for Arjun, who was alone in the lead earlier. 3:41 Impossible to talk about Atwal without mentioning his accident. In an era of 24-hour news it gets frustrating when you don’t know all the ins and outs of a story, but it looks like we’re not really going to know what happened to him that night in Florida. It’s like Windemere is the Bermuda Triangle of vague police reports. Definitely have to recommend my compatriot Alan "Bassy" Bastable's piece on this that ran in Golf Mag a couple years ago. A great article. 3:39 Atwal hits the green on 7, but is a country mile from the hole. 7's playing almost as tough today as 17 yesterday…with a green that big you'd think it wouldn't be so intimidating, but you'd be wrong. 3:36 Not to be a jerk about it, but I think Tim Herron's got a couple extra lumps these days. 3:35 Hoffman makes bogey at 18th for his first added stroke of the day. That'll put him 2 back of the lead. 3:34 If I could steal one non-Tiger swing on Tour I think it would be Justin Rose's. It is absolutely picture-perfect. 3:32 The tees are up today, so we're seeing some lower scores and some serious approaches right at the pins. 17 in particular has softened up. It's still playing tough, but not nearly as brutal as it was yesterday–it's already yielded 12 birdies. 3:29 Reader Kevin skipped out on work early today, but still had time to check in here, which is always appreciated. I actually took off early today too, this is just what I do for fun. 3:28 Nicholas Thompson made his caddy get down on his stomach to read the green. The good news? It was worth the humiliation, Thompson made birdie to move to the pack at -3. 3:26 Justin Rose makes a decent recovery at 9, hoping to stay at -3. Rose is quickly becoming the comeback story of the year. Now all he has to do is close another one out. Something tells me that's not going to happen, at least not in 2010. 3:22 These commercials with Hunter Mahan in a hotdog stand were a lot funnier when he wasn't missing so many cuts. Come on Hunter, time to get back on the horse–I don't want to run into you at a Dairy Queen in 10 years. 3:21 Jason Day makes a good effort just to get the ball to the green out of the deep stuff on the 1st hole. The rough on this course screams "U.S. Open" more than AT&T National. 3:19 Seems to me that a surprising number of putts left short so far today. Not sure if it's tentativeness or just the toughness of these greens. 3:17 The relatively weak field here does have a bit of an upside. We’re
getting to see a lot of young players go after a major-style golf course. Jason
Day and Rickie Fowler? That’s enough for me. 3:15 Although I suppose that begs the question "who's reading this blog?" 3:14 The Golf Channel is probably wishing I were a Nielsen family today, because with Tiger on the brink of getting cut and most of the top-50 either in Paris or poolside I may be the only one watching this tournament.
3:10 I couldn't agree more. Tiger’s 114th at the moment in putting inside 10 feet, and that’s great news as far as I’m concerned. Tiger Woods is the best short-mid range putter of any Tour player in history, bar none. This is something that’s going to work itself out. Tiger not being able to find the fairway would be a problem that could stick with him for a long time, Tiger not being able to find the bottom of the cup is something that could be gone by tomorrow 3:09 From reader Craig: At the very least,
Tiger seems to be mashing his drives this week. One thing that has been
notably about recent Tiger performance is his (relative) lack of length. 3:06 Can Hoffman seriously be 33 already? I remember thinking he was a sure thing back when he won the Bob Hope in 2007. If nothing else, he's relaxed out there and a really nice dude…and I mean DUDE. 3:04 No sooner did I type that than Charlie Hoffman sank an birdie to move alone to second at -5. Faldo referred to Hoffman as having a "chicken under his hat" which is just ridiculous…it looks much more like a dry sponge. 3:03 Jason Day is leading the field so far at -6 and he looks nothing short of fantastic out there. He's leading what is now a few guys at -4 after Arjun Atwal dropped a stroke with a 3-putt at 4. 3:01 Questions for the afternoon: Can the field play badly enough for Tiger to make the cut at +3, can Jason Day and Arjun Atwal keep the good times rolling and can Nick Faldo possibly try to make this field of players sound exciting? 3:00 Howdy folks, Golf Magazine’s Steve Beslow here to take you to the finish on cut day at the AT&T National.