Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Golf Roundup: Laird Leads at Frys.com Open

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Golf Roundup: Laird Leads at Frys.com Open

Article excerpt

Martin Laird wasn't sure what to expect out of his game after a seven-week break. He hasn't found too much wrong after two rounds of the Frys.com Open in Napa, Calif.

Laird bounced back from his first bogey of the new PGA Tour season by running off four straight birdies around the turn. One last birdie on the par-5 18th at Silverado gave him a second straight 5-under 67 and a one-shot lead over Sang-Moon Bae and Zach Blair going into the weekend.

Blair was among 11 rookies to make the cut in their debut as PGA Tour members.

Silverado hadn't hosted a PGA Tour event since 1980, and it appeared the players were starting to figure out how to navigate the tight, winding fairways and small greens that are all about being on the right side of the hole.

There were 13 rounds at 67 or better, compared with only three in the opening round.

One of them belonged to Jimmy Walker, one of four players fresh off the Ryder Cup who came to the Frys.com Open. Walker opened with a 75, and then he followed that with eight birdies in a round of 66 that got him to the weekend with room to spare.

Hunter Mahan and Matt Kuchar each had a 68 and were at least in range of Laird. Lee Westwood played in the morning through a marine layer that made conditions more difficult. He shot a 69 to make the cut by one shot.

Laird was at 10-under 134.

"You never know how you're going to play after seven weeks off like I had," Laird said. "Just to come out and put back-to-back 67s up and play very solid very solid 67s I'm extremely happy."

He made a sloppy bogey on the sixth hole with a poor tee shot into the bunker, hitting into another bunker some 80 feet from the flag and missing an 8-foot putt. He had to scramble for par on the next hole, and then he took off.

After a pair of short birdie putts, Laird rolled in a birdie from 20 feet on No. 10, and then made another birdie putt from the same range up the ridge toward a tucked pin on the par-3 11th.

Bae made all three of his birdies on the par 5s and was at 135. …

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