Molder dials long distance on greens
FORT WORTH, Texas -- After a day of sinking long birdie putts and missing some short ones, Bryce Molder is the second-round leader of the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial at 13 under par.
Molder made nine birdies and one bogey Friday and came within a stroke of matching the course record of 61. He missed an 8-foot birdie putt on his final hole.
"I pretty well knew that 61 was the course record," said Molder. "I actually hit a poor putt. I read it correctly, lined up correctly, but felt like I was playing too much break. I kind of let myself pull it instead of trusting my line."
Molder said the short misses were offset by a chip-in at No. 12 and 117 feet of made putts, the longest a 32-footer at No. 6.
The 31-year-old resident of Scottsdale, Ariz., is seeking his first PGA Tour win, but he has four top-10 finishes this year. Most of his career before 2010 has been spent on the Nationwide Tour.
Molder is playing Colonial for the first time. Only five players have won the tournament in their debut, the last being Sergio Garcia in 2001.
"Several people told me this course would suit my game," Molder said. who plays in Saturday's last pairing, a 1:05 p.m. tee time with Jason Bohn.
Ailing Bohn hangs tough The end of the round couldn't come soon enough for Jason Bohn, who shot a 65 and is in second place at 12 under.
Between the afternoon heat and his problems with an ear infection, Bohn said he had to slow his game down. He's not in pain, but his equilibrium got worse as the round progressed.
"I got dizzy a few times, but I'm not sure if it was the ear or the heat or a combination," he said. "I actually had to stand over my putts a second or two longer than I normally would to feel I was settled before I hit my putts.'"
Bohn said he fed off the round of 64 by playing partner Kenny Perry. . "If you see a lot of high-quality shots, it builds confidence," Bohn said.
From abscess to success: Brian Davis took some ribbing Friday from fellow pros about possible reasons behind the abscess on his gums that caused his face to swell.
Davis can laugh after following up a 64 with a 65 on Friday. At 11 under, he is tied for third, 2 strokes off the lead.
"Obviously, I've got a lot of swelling," Davis said, "so it will take a few days to go down, but I'll be fine."
He wasn't surprised to be playing well with discomfort.
"I've got three young kids, so this is normal stress," he said.
Daly in good shape: John Daly dunked his approach shot in the pond fronting the green at No. 9, his final hole, and made double-bogey. But he still finished with a 69 and is at 5 under, tied for 27th and 8 shots off the lead.
"I thought I was in softer grass," said Daly, who faced a 128-yard shot from the rough. "It turned out to be hardpan and the club bounced."
Daly said he needs to get his putter going after taking 30 putts for his second round. And with that, he was off to the practice green, where he putted using only his left hand for several minutes.
Formidable pair: Corey Pavin's 6-foot putt circled the hole on No. 18 before falling for a birdie and a round of 64 that moved him to 9 under, tied for fourth after the morning wave completed play.
Pavin, a Dallas resident and the 2010 Ryder Cup captain, scooped the ball out of the hole and flipped it in one motion to playing partner John Mallinger, who caught it in his hat. Mallinger also finished at 9 under. They are tied for seventh, four shots off the lead.
Both were laughing about it afterward.
"Mally and I have played four rounds together and I don't think the worst either of us shot was 67," Pavin said. "We were laughing that if I made that putt, we might be paired tomorrow again."
And they will be paired together, in the 12:35 p.m. tee time.
Pavin skipped the Senior PGA Championship to make his 27th straight appearance at Colonial. He won here in 1985 and 1996.
"I love Colonial," Pavin said. "There's not many Tour courses anymore that fit my game. Most are designed to carry the ball a long way. I can play my game here. Today was a good combination for me: firm fairways and soft greens."
Pavin's last PGA Tour win came in 2006.
"Playing with Corey is great," Mallinger said. "He shows you how to play a course out there. That guy's a magician."
Cut is Colonial's lowest: With little wind and receptive greens, Colonial has been a punching bag so far.
The cut was made at 2 under, the lowest in the tournament's 63-year history.
"It doesn't mean Colonial is not a great golf course," Molder said. "It just means the conditions are right for scoring. If the wind was blowing even 10 to 15 mph, you'd see different scoring."
The forecast for the weekend is winds at 5-10 mph and high temperatures in the mid-90s.
Briefly: Crowne Plaza has agreed to exercise its option as title sponsor for the 2011 event. ... Jeff Overton celebrated his 27th birthday by shooting a 65. He's in fifth, 3 strokes off the lead at 10 under. ... Jeff Maggert on Friday became the second player to withdraw. ... Fort Worth resident Jason Day, last week's HP Byron Nelson winner, shot a 71 on Friday and survived the cut by 1 stroke at 3-under. ... Vijay Singh's return to form hit a minor snag with an even-par 70, leaving him at 3-under. ... The first twosome goes off at 7:10 a.m. Saturday.