Veterans star at Sawgrass
BY Bruce Young | US PGA Tour | 2008 The Players Championship | Round Two | 10 May 2008
It’s a case of the veterans in charge at the Players Championship with 47-year-old Kenny Perry holding a narrow one shot lead over 50-year-old Bernhard Langer, 43-year-old Paul Goydos and the comparative youngster Sergio Garcia.
Garcia led after his stunning opening round of 66 and stayed at the top of the leaderboard for much of round two before falling victim to the par three 17th. He managed to take double bogey at the signature hole without visiting the water but at just one behind the leader, he is still very well placed for the weekend.
Kenny Perry has missed only one cut in eleven starts this season but other than a third placed finish at the Bob Hope, there has not been much to get too excited about. With only one top ten in this event in 17 visits, expectations were low this week however the nine-time PGA Tour winner has putted beautifully all week and deserves his lead, albeit a narrow one.
Bernhard Langer has already won twice on the Champions Tour this season but even in his final year on the PGA Tour in 2007 he was playing well enough to finish runner up in events such as the Crown Plaza Colonial.
Langer made a brilliant start to his round today, reaching six under par for the round through 8 holes before mixing bogies with birdies over the closing nine holes. A 50 foot putt from the front of the 17th green, after just scraping over the water, put the icing on the cake of a great opening to an event in which he often played well in his heyday.
Paul Goydos has come from obscurity in terms of his performances so far in 2008 to contend this week. His record at the TPC Sawgrass hardly gave rise to any belief that he could do well but here is he just one back and like Perry he has a brilliant putting display over the opening 36 holes to thank for his current position.
Last week’s winner, Anthony Kim, is playing in just his second Players Championship but he has backed up with another very good start to be just two behind Perry at four under, further confirming his outstanding potential. He has driven the ball as well as just about anyone of the opening two days and it would not surprise to see him go on with it despite his relative inexperience at this event.
Boo Weekly continued his recent good play to be at 3 under while in the group at 2 under are previous winner and runner up, Stephen Ames, and yet another veteran in Fred Couples.
The best of the Australians is Stuart Appleby, who has just returned from minor knee surgery and is at even par, Robert Allenby, Steve Elkington and Aaron Baddeley are at 1 over while Adam Scott recovered from an opening 75 to record a second round of 71 and be at 2 over. Nick O’Hern was the only other Australian to make the cut at 3 over.