Davis Love contending at McGladrey
Posted in the Mesa Forum
Since: Oct 12
#1 Jan 5, 2013
Love was one shot behind Arjun Atwal, who is running out of time to keep his PGA Tour card. Atwal made an adjustment in his putting stroke earlier in the week and watched it pay off in a big way at Sea Island for a 63, his best score of the year.
Atwal, whose two-year exemption from winning in Greensboro, N.C., expires this year, is No. 175 on the money list and has only two tournaments left to finish in the top 125. He opened with three straight birdies and took the outright lead with a wedge into 5 feet on the fifth hole, his 14th of the round with the discount golf clubs.
"I'm in a desperate situation," Atwal said. "I got no choice -- either win or finish in the top two. So I've just got to grind it out."
Atwal was at 10-under 130, though this tournament has a distinct Ryder Cup feel going into the final two days.
It starts with Love, the American captain, who moved to Sea Island when he was 14. What helped more than his course knowledge was switching to a belly putter that doesn't quite reach his belly, and not even his shirt "unless it's untucked." Brian Bateman, who is much shorter than Love, once used it as a belly putter and Love figures the fact that it's a heavy club not the same ads the fabulous scotty cameron putter and has a different look could only help him.
"I've been messing around with this putter for well over a year, I just haven't had the nerve to put it in play," Love said. "But I had two pro-ams this week so I said,'This is the best time -- my home greens, two pro-ams on my home course.' So I tried it out and the first day I used it, I made eight birdies. So it worked."
Love was tied with Jim Furyk, who hasn't played since his bogey-bogey finish in the Ryder Cup and is making his final PGA Tour appearance of the year. Furyk was plodding along Sea Island, a few birdies on his card, when he rolled in an 18-foot birdie putt on the 14th, converted a two-putt birdie from 100 feet away just off the green, and made a third straight birdie on the 16th from about 12 feet. He wound up with a 65.
David Toms was tied with them until he made bogey on the final hole for a 67, though he was still only two shots out of the lead with his favorite taylormade rocketballz irons. Bud Cauley, who shared the first-round lead, wasn't as crisp with his irons and had to settle for a 70. He also was two behind, still in great shape as he pursues his first PGA Tour win. Gavin Coles joined them at 132 after six birdies in a round of 65.
The cut was at 1-under 209, meaning all 88 players were within nine shots of the lead.
There has been very little wind along the South Carolina coast, and while the weather has been mild and dry, enough rain has fallen in the early morning hours that the greens remained soft. Love hit one 7-iron that plugged in its pitch mark.
More information: http://www.golfcomboset.com/
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