It seems out of place to see Angel Cabrera near the lead of a tournament that is not a major, but the 44-year-old from Cordoba, Argentina has a share of the top spot after two rounds in the Wells Fargo Championship. Cabrera shot a 3-under par 69 on Friday at Quail Hollow in North Carolina, which was good enough to share the lead with Martin Flores at 9-under par 135. The last time the Argentine led after 36 holes of an event was the U.S. Open in 2007. The last time he led after any round was at the Masters last year.
Teeing off in the early groups on Friday on the No. 10-tee, the day could not have gone much better for Flores. After birdying his first hole, he holed a wedge from 105 yards to card an eagle on No. 11. His celebration was dampened somewhat with a double bogey on the first hole of his second nine, but he finished at 4-under for the day, and earned a spot in the final foursome for the third round on Saturday.
Phil Mickelson was one shot out of the lead after the first round of the Wells Fargo Championship on Thursday and said he was happy to start fast and not have to play from behind. Mickelson will now have to play from seven strokes behind when he tees off on Saturday, after sputtering to a 3-over 75 on Friday. He said he noticed a tremendous difference in his putting between Thursday and Friday but had no excuses, saying he “just struggled getting the ball into the hole.”
Things were worse for Rory McIlroy. After a 69 on Thursday, McIlroy also had trouble with his putter, missing five putts of six feet or less. He ended up shooting 76 and making the cut right on the number at one over par 145.
Friday was quite a day for Brendan De Jonge. De Jonge, who grew up in South Africa but now lives near Quail Hollow in Charlotte, NC, had all but packed his car after registering 80 in the first round on Thursday. On Friday he could do no wrong, rolling in eight birdies and an eagle for a course-record-tying 62. He is tied with Mickelson at 2-under for the Wells Fargo Championship.
Last year’s U.S. Open winner Justin Rose is right in the thick of things at the midway point of the Wells Fargo Championship. Rose had a 5-under par 67 on Friday, and is just one shot behind the shared lead of Cabrera and Flores. Tied for fourth at 7-under par are Shawn Stefani and J.B. Holmes.
On the LPGA Tour, Natalie Gulbis is a surprise contender after two rounds of the North Texas LPGA Shootout. Gulbis has not won on the tour in seven years, and finds herself tied with Stacy Lewis for second place at 7-under 135. Meena Lee of South Korea and Caroline Masson of Germany are the leaders at 8-under par midway through the second-year event at Las Colinas Country Club in Irving, TX. Christina Kim was alone in fifth place after a 69 put her at 6-under for the tournament.
Golf Shots is a daily series which provides analysis and commentary on the PGA tour and golf-related topics all year long.
Commentary by Chuck Podhaisky