Sergio Garcia and Ryan Palmer both shot the low rounds of the day in the second round of the BMW Championship at Cherry Hills Golf Club in Denver, Colorado. Their 6-under 64s were the best by two shots and shot Garcia into 1st at 8-under and Palmer into 2nd at 7-under. Coincidentally, they both found a shortcut on the par-4 7th: they holed their second shots for eagle-2s.
Rory McIlroy is two shots back from Garcia and T3 with Billy Horschel whose hot streak from the Deutsche Bank is clearly still running.
Two more strokes back in T5 are right-on-the-brink Canadian, Graham DeLaet, Mr. See-my-shot, Bubba Watson and the great Japanese player, Hideki Matsuyama whose pause at the top sets up an acceleration down and explosion into the ball.
South of them, four guys shot 4-under 66: Rickie Fowler and Adam Scott to get to T8, Charl Schwartzel, T12 and John Senden to get to T16. Of those, Schwartzel has the most work to do; he’s projected at 43 in FedExCup points and needs to get to 30 to move on to next week’s Tour Championship.
Other notables outside the top 30 include: Keegan Bradley (31), DeLaet (32), Harris English (33), Henrik Stenston (38), Ernie Els (39), Ryan Moore (41), Camillo Villegas (53), Graeme McDowell (60) and Phil Mickelson (64).
A big move up the leaderboard can create a correspondingly big move up in points awards in The Playoffs which are quintuple a regular season PGA Tour event’s points. So all is not lost.
The bulk of each player’s transcripts had to do substantially with the course conditions. There was not much introspection. While the first day was about how hard the greens were, the second day was all about how overnight rains softened them up. That made it easier to play to the pin locations rather than planning how to bounce the ball into the greens. Hence the lower low scores.
That doesn’t mean that the course is easier, it’s still being talked about as a great course. It just means that good shots are better rewarded after the rains.
Finally, since driving the short par-4 1st hole has become a bit of a side fascination, the Tour is keeping track of it:
Round 1: 2/54 players were successful (Charley Hoffman/birdie, Ryan Palmer/eagle)
Round 2: 2/30 players were successful (Graham DeLaet/birdie, Rory McIlroy/par)
They’re going off in threesomes on Saturday on the 1st and the 10th tees.