Back-nine 29 gives Couch share of leadPALM HARBOR, Fla. – Patience is always the key in golf and it sure paid off for Chris Couch in the second round of the Transitions Championship. Couch carded a back-nine 29 on his way to a 64 at and that was good enough to share the 36-hole lead with Garrett Willis at 9 under par 133.
Couch already has two top-8 finishes in only four starts and seems poised to add to his great start in 2011.
“No doubt, this is definitely a course you have to be patient on,” Couch said. “I kept telling myself on the front nine, ‘Stay patient. Stay patient.’ I knew I was hitting it well and then a couple of putts fell on the back and the roller-coaster started.”
Willis, who had the first-round lead here last year before blowing up with a second-round 77 and going on to finish T72, is hoping for a bit better fortune this year. He followed an opening 66 with a 67 and a tie for the top spot with his good friend Couch.
“It's a lot cooler to lead after the second round than it is the first round,” Willis said.
His day didn’t start all that well as he posted a bogey-six at the first hole.
"Same BS as last year,” he said. “Here we go again." (Laughter). All I had to do was hit a 7-iron up the middle of the fairway, hit a wedge on the green to give myself -- to make a putt.
“But no; I wanted to hit 3-wood up in the neck, and if I hit it good to where I can have an easy birdie, and I just missed it a little bit. Goes under the tree, dumped under the bunker and made bogey. Same M.O., but at least this year I was able to get out of the mind-set of negativity and say, ‘Look, we have a lot of golf. Just fairways, greens and just keep going. ‘”
Sergio Garcia, making his first start in the states since the PGA Championship last August, is at 68-66-134 and stands tied in second-place with Webb Simpson. Garcia completed 36 holes without a bogey on the card.
Garcia had a dream start. His round began at the 10th hole and he birdied three of the first four holes he played.
“Yeah, it was pretty solid overall, and you know, just happy to be able to go through two rounds on this course without making a bogey,” said Garcia.
Justin Rose finished his round with a back-nine 30 and was in a group of players 2-back at 7 under par including first-round leader Paul Casey, Marc Turnesa and Brendon de Jonge.
The cut fell at minus-1 with 72 players making it to weekend play.
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