Emergency 9: 60th Desert Classic Round 2

Halfway home but only two-thirds of the golf has been played.

Remember, 54-hole cut this week!

No let-down from Lefty:

Emergency 9

Here are nine tidbits from the opening round of the 60th Desert Classic that gamers can use tomorrow, this weekend or down the road. The Stadium Course at PGA West serves as the host course but the 156 pros will also get a chance at La Quinta Country Club and the Nicklaus Tournament Course at PGA West.

Get Ahead, Stay Ahead.

Backing up 60 is never an easy task so 68 from first-round leader Phil Mickelson is nothing to sneeze at in Round 2. His boring opening nine included just two birdies but they were wiped out with a double right before the turn. In classic fashion “Lefty” added circles on four of his last five and avoid any bogeys on his final nine to keep his lead at two.

It’s Luck, Not Lucky

Following Mickelson in the LQ-NT rota, Curtis Luck sits two back after 64-66. He’s 40th in the reorder and probably wishes today was Sunday. With two more rounds, both at the Stadium Course to go, long-term investors will be curious how he handles his business. He’s tied for the most birdies and leads the field in Putts-per-GIR.

Fantasy Island

These were the top-10 selected golfers in the PGA TOUR Fantasy Golf One & Done game. If you’re wondering why you’re not doing well, here’s why:

Rank Player Place % Ownership
1 Patrick Cantlay T8 15.66
2 Jon Rahm T5 13.10
3 Adam Hadwin T3 11.61
4 Charles Howell III T28 11.60
5 Andrew Putnam T72 7.34
6 Justin Rose T28 6.01
7 Chez Reavie T21 4.51
8 Hudson Swafford T118 3.07
9 Phil Mickelson 1st 2.03
10 Abraham Ancer T8 1.69

 

The wind ruffled flags today and the quarter-zip pullovers were on but it wasn’t raining! Sunshine always helps and the weather should chill even more tomorrow.

Low Round of the Day

His best finish this season is T3 at SFC.

Defending Champion

Spaniard Jon Rahm made a few long ones and missed a few short ones but his ball-striking should be tuned in for a weekend at The Stadium Course. He’s on the same rotation as last year and knows exactly what it takes to close the deal. He closed 70-67 last year.

Fresh Meat

Steve Marino (T3) isn’t a new name to crusty gamers but it’s been a few since he’s garnered attention. It’s never his talent that has been in question, rather his health. … Wyndham Clark (T5) was household name college golf but he’s only posted one top-25 payday in 14 previous starts on TOUR. … Joey Garber (T5) is from the stable of ‘Dawgs in Athens but is so deep in the reorder not many are paying attention. He opened with 68 on The Stadium Course so I’m watching more intently.

Puttering

If you’re on Andrew Putnam like I am this week, it probably took you a while to find him on the leaderboard at the end of play. He corrected a slow start with seven birdies in eight holes to push out to eight-under. The bogey-double close let all the air out of his balloon. Don’t forget he had a triple yesterday as well! Sad as he’s T4 in birdies!

Rumor Has It

When the wind blows a bit, The Stadium Course won’t be affected as it sits nestled between the mountains. The scoring average dropped today from the cold and damp Round 1 led by Scott Langley and Jason Kokrak, who both dropped 65s. Patrick Cantlay wasn’t bothered either as he signed for 66 along with Vaughn Taylor and Julian Etulain. There was only one 65 yesterday posted by course horse Adam Hadwin.

Study Hall

The Stadium Course was the only track playing about 70 at 70.269 while La Quinta checked in at 69.423 while Nicklaus Tournament was almost as generous at 69.558. … Peter Malnati (T21) and Ryan Armour (T46) are the only two players without a blemish in the card. … PGATOUR Roster gamers need to get their LaQuinta and NT players into the lineup tomorrow. … Paul Casey is tied for the lead after two rounds at the Indonesian Open. … Shane Lowry has a three-shot lead at Abu Dhabi as he looks to close it out tomorrow, yes, Saturday.

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