Saturday, April 30th, 2016
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Rose among notable MCs at Zurich; MDF looms 04-30-2016
Justin Rose
Defending champ and Zurich Ambassador Justin Rose sleepwalked to an even-par 34-38=72 in the second round of the Zurich Classic of New Orleans and at even-par 144, missed the cut by two strokes. A total of 82 players made the 36-hole cut on 2-under 142 so a second cut of low 70 and ties will come after 54 holes. Rose opened his defense with a two-birdie two-bogey 72 that included a bogey-6 on 11, ending his blemish-free streak in NOLA at 76 holes. He began his second frame on No. 10 and went out in birdie-less 2-over 38, squaring back-to-backs on 12 and 13. The 35-year-old got on the board with birdie at the par-5 2nd but gave it back with bogey-4 at the third. Birdies at 7 and 8 completed his scoring. Joining Rose with early exits include: 143- Luke List; Sean O'Hair; K.J. Choi; Boo Weekley ... 144- 2009 champ Jerry Kelly; Keegan Bradley ... 146- John Huh; Martin Piller ... 147- Chez Reavie; 2010 champ Jason Bohn; Ricky Barnes ... 149- 2008 champ Andres Romero; Hunter Mahan and Smylie Kaufman.
Howell III four back after 36 holes @ Zurich 04-30-2016
Charles Howell III
Charles Howell III carved out a 3-under-par 33-36=69 in the two-day second round of the Zurich Classic of New Orleans to post 8-under 136, up one on the leaderboard to T4, four in arrears of 36-hole leader Brian Stuard. Howell is a two-time runner-up at the Zurich and opened his 14th visit in 67. He began his second round off No. 10 and was even-par at the turn (one birdie, one bogey) when play was suspended due to darkness. The 36-year-old returned on Saturday morning and played his inward half in bogey-free 3-under. He circled birdies on holes 2, 5 and 7, all from 10'0" and in.
An begins TPC Louisiana debut with twin 68s 04-30-2016
Byeong-Hun An
Byeong-Hun An authored a 4-under-par 34-34=68 in the two-day second round of the Zurich Classic of New Orleans to reach the midpoint on 8-under 136, up 13 spots on the leaderboard to T4, four shy of 36-hole leader Brian Stuard. Playing on a foreign exemption, An is making his tourney debut along with 27 others. He opened with a five-birdie one-bogey 68 and was 2-under thru nine holes, 6-under total when play was nixed on Friday due to darkness. The 24-year-old returned on Saturday morning with 75 other refugees and completed his inward half in 2-under, circling further birdies on 13 and 18, both from inside of seven feet.
Collins leaps 76 spots to T4 with 8-under 64 04-30-2016
Chad Collins
Chad Collins twirled a bogey-free 8-under-par 33-31=64 in the two-day second round of the Zurich Classic of New Orleans to reach the halfway point on 8-under 136, good for the low lap in round two and tying the low round of the week with Brian Stuard and Jhonattan Vegas from R1. Collins opened his seventh Zurich with a two-birdie two-bogey 72 and entered off a career-best solo third last week at TPC San Antonio. He began his second frame on No. 10 and was 5-under thru nine holes when play was suspended due to darkness. The 37-year-old returned Saturday morning and toured his inward half in 3-under 33, adding further birdies on holes 4, 5 and 7. In total, he circled eight on the card, including a pair of 16-footers on 14 and 18, highlighted by a 24-footer at the par-5 fifth. Collins is up 76 places on the leaderboard to T4, four adrift of 36-hole leader Stuard.
Jason Day contending despite balky putting 04-30-2016
Jason Day
World No. 1 and Zurich Ambassador Jason Day crafted a bogey-free 4-under-par 35-33=68 in the two-day second round of the Zurich Classic of New Orleans to post 7-under 137, five back of 36-hole leader Brian Stuard. Day was one of 76 stranded on Friday due to darkness. He was 2-under thru 10 holes, 5-under total when play was ditched. The Aussie returned on Saturday morning and added birdies on 11 and 13 from 13'7" and 6'9", respectively, to complete his scoring. He's up 19 spots on the live leaderboard to T9 with his blemish-free loop a nice bounce back from the first round where he squared four, including back-to-backs to end on a sour note. Thru 36 holes, the 28-year-old is currently T8 in greens in regulation at 77.78 percent (28/36) but T86 in putts per GIR at 1.786.
Stuard leads by one after 36 holes in NOLA 04-30-2016
Brian Stuard
18-hole co-leader Brian Stuard tacked on a bogey-free 4-under-par 32-36=68 in the two-day second round of the Zurich Classic of New Orleans to reach the midpoint on 12-under 132, good for sole possession of the 36-hole lead. Second-round play is still in progress but it's doubtful anyone will catch Stuard, who's leading by one over Jamie Lovemark and 18-hole co-leader Jhonattan Vegas, who were both in the house on Friday. The 513th-ranked player in the world was 2-under thru 12 holes, 10-under total, when play was suspended due to darkness yesterday. He returned on Saturday to play his final six holes in 2-under circling back-to-backs on holes 7 and 8 from 14'4" and 10'5", respectively, and remains bogey-free thru 36 holes. In total, the 33-year-old circled four on the card -- penciling birdies on 1 and 2 on Friday -- on 12 greens in regulation, and at last glance, is pacing the field in strokes gained: putting at 7.842, including 1.454 in R2.
Berger vaults into contention with 7-under 65 04-30-2016
Daniel Berger
Daniel Berger spun a 7-under-par 30-35=65 in the two-day second round of the Zurich Classic of New Orleans to post 8-under 136, up 59 places on the live leaderboard to T4, three back of 36-hole co-leaders Jamie Lovemark and Jhonattan Vegas. Berger was one of 76 to get stranded on Friday. Prior to the horn ending play due to darkness, he got 13 holes in the books, including a first-nine 30 that featured an eagle-birdie-birdie run on holes 7-9. The Floridian parred 10-13 and was 6-under on the round and 7-under total at the suspension. He returned Saturday morning and played his final five holes in 1-under to post the low round in the clubhouse. In total, the second-year man carded seven par breakers -- six birds and one eagle-3 -- against a lone bogey at the par-3 17th and at last check, posted 5.208 strokes gained: tee-to-green.
Local hero Li moves up to T3rd in China Open 04-30-2016
Haotong Li
There could be a home winner at the Volvo China Open for the second year running after Hao Tong Li moved to within two shots of the lead after a 6-under-par 32-34=66 in Saturday's third round. Ashun Wu made history at Tomson Shanghai Pudong Golf Club 12 months ago when he became the first Chinese player to win a European Tour event on home soil and Li is in line to repeat the feat after moving up to tied third on 14-under 202. It would be less of a surprise given that Li was sixth in this event last year but victory would still be a huge achievement given that he's just 20 years old. The youngster made his move at Topwin Golf & CC today by connecting four straight birdies at 5, 6, 7 and 8 before adding another at 11. His momentum was checked with a bogey-6 at 12 but he responded by circling further red at 14 and 18 to slot in just two behind joint leaders Lucas Bjerregaard and Felipe Aguilar. Once again, the European Tour provided no stats on his round.
Noren two back with 18 to play in China Open 04-30-2016
Alexander Noren
Alex Noren maintained his title bid at the Volvo China Open in Beijing after handing in a 4-under-par 34-34=68 in Saturday's third round. One back at start of play, the Swede now trails by two but at 14-under 202 he has leading duo Lucas Bjerregaard and Felipe Aguilar very much in his crosshairs. It was a wild ride for Noren on the front nine as he mixed an eagle-3 at 8 with a double bogey-6 at 5 along with birdies at 1, 3 and 7 and finally a bogey at 9. That added up to an outward 34, a score he matched coming home although in more serene style after seven pars and birdies at 11 and 18. The 33-year-old hit every green in regulation in round two but had to settle for 13 today. He could only save par twice although he needed just 26 putts.
Colsaerts has eyes on second China Open win 04-30-2016
Nicolas Colsaerts
Nicolas Colsaerts lifted the trophy at the 2011 Volvo China Open and is in position to win it for a second time after splashing seven birdies and no bogeys in a 7-under-par 34-31=65 in Saturday's third round. That's just two swings behind joint leaders Lucas Bjerregaard and Felipe Aguilar. Colsaerts arrived at 14-under 202 thanks mainly to a burst of five birdies in seven holes. As well as those gains at 8, 10, 12, 13 and 14 he picked up further shots at 5 and 18 in favorable scoring conditions at the Ian Woosnam-designed Topwin Golf & CC in Beijing. As in round two, the big-hitting Belgian speared 16 greens in regulation and got up and down both times when he missed. Today's round followed an opening 70 and a Friday 67 so Colsaerts is stepping up his title bid each day. Despite the tournament moving to different courses, this event has been kind to him. As well as his win five years ago at Luxehills International, the former Ryder Cup star was runner-up at Binhai Lake in 2012 and also cracked the top 10 at Suzhou Jinji Lake in 2010.
Bjerregaard bogey-free 65; ties lead in China 04-30-2016
Lucas Bjerregaard
Lucas Bjerregaard torched Topwin Golf & CC for a 7-under-par 33-32=65 in Saturday's third round and joined halfway leader Felipe Aguilar at the top of the Volvo China Open leaderboard with 18 holes to play. For the second lap running, the Dane went bogey free and he's dropped just a single shot through his first 54 holes. Bjerregaard gave his round dramatic impetus by holing his second shot for an eagle-2 at the 483-yard par-4 4th hole and went to the turn in 33 after a birdie at 8. He circled further red at 11, 12, 16 and 18 on the back nine to arrive at 16-under 200 and share top spot with Aguilar. The pair are two in front of Alex Noren, Tyrrell Hatton, Hao Tong Li and Niocolas Colsaerts. For the third day running, Bjerregaard hit just 8 (of 14) fairways but so far this week he's missed just seven greens in regulation and is a perfect 7-for-7 in scrambling. The 24-year-old, who has three top fives in his last six starts in China, will be seeking a first European Tour title on Sunday.