In much warmer conditions on Friday, at the Tampa Bay Championship, first round leader Shawn Stefani shot a 72 to take a one stroke lead into the weekend. The 31 year old tour rookie from Baytown, Texas didn’t have a cake walk in the second round, putting a couple of bogeys on his card at the Innisbrook Resort, Copperhead Course near Tampa.
Stefani had to scramble a bit on Friday, but finished with a -7 under par total, one shot up on PGA Tour veterans, Adam Scott and K J Choi, who is a past champion at this event. His -7 under total is the highest score to lead after two rounds at Tampa in the past five years. There are 20 players within five shots of the lead at the halfway point.
Jason Dufner matched Scott’s 66 on Friday, and joins three players at -4 under par in a tie for fourth place. Dufner warmed it up and got his putter on track, climbing 11 spots up the leaderboard. He shot even par on Thursday during the cool conditions. He got it going early with birdie on the first hole, and made the turn at 33. He picked one bogey on the day at the entrance to the snake pit.
Dufner joined first round standouts, Harris English, Brian Harman, amd Peter Tomasulo, who is on a medical exemption,for a share of fourth place. Tomasulo has four tournaments left to make the $400,000 required on to keep his status, and remain on the PGA Tour.
There were some surprises that finished the day beneath the cut line. Some of the golfers failing to make the weekend had come to Tampa Bay swinging a pretty good stick, but will be spending the weekend getting ready for Bay Hill up the road in Orlando. They included, Honda Classic winner, Michael Thompson, 2012 British Open Champ, Louis Oosthuizen, and Sunshine tour standout, Peter Uihlein. John Daley had a horrible day, shooting a 10 over par 81, and missing the 36 hole cut. He only managed two birdies on the day, and took a double bogey seven after two drops on the par five 11th hole.
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