Jim Furyk and Company Battle for Constellation Furyk & Friends Title

Steve Stricker, Constellation Furyk & Friends,(Photo by Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images)
Steve Stricker, Constellation Furyk & Friends,(Photo by Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images) /

Tournament host, Jim Furyk shot 3-under par, but Steve Stricker accelerated past everyone with an 8-under par round of 64 to get to 11-under and earn a three-shot lead over Furyk and Mike Weir in the second round of the Constellation Furyk & Friends tournament.

“On 13, I put a little run together there that just made all the difference. I think I went birdie-birdie-eagle-birdie, so it was just a good stretch of golf,” Stricker explained.

He credited a couple of 30-footers and some good shots to get him within striking distance of the pins, although for Stricker, striking distance seems to be anywhere on any green.

It was easy to wonder if there was some kind of clue that he gets before he’s about to go on a streak like that, but he said no.

"“You never know when a run like that’s going to come. You just try to keep plugging along.” “I knew that it was the time to try to take advantage of it. But again, this course, if you do that, it can kind of jump up and grab you, too.”"

Like everyone else, he found the greens tricky, reminiscent of Pinehurst No. 2.

“They’re on the edges rolling off,” Stricker said.

"“I hit a couple like that yesterday on the par 3s. And again, that was my mindset today was just to get it on the center of the green and go from there.”"

“The guy’s played like less than 50 events out here and he’s won over 10. His conversion rate’s pretty solid,” said Jim Furyk about Steve Stricker.

Jim Furyk was a victim of the greens on Saturday.

Furyk got lucky. He had a ball back up off the green and roll toward his feet. That’s when he made what Golf Channel called a no-putt birdie on the 15th hole, which is a par five.

"“I drove it perfect, and I kind of got in between clubs. I didn’t know if a 4-iron was really going to be enough, where I was bringing water into play, but 5-wood was too much.”"

Jim Furyk said there was no way he could hit an easy 5-wood.

Instead, he aimed for the bunker with a hard draw.  That’s when the ball went over the green, and not just a little bit.  He chose putter.

"“I tried to putt the first one, and it came out hopping.”  “It never made it up the hill.” – Jim Furyk"

On the second attempt, he was just trying to keep the ball on the green to have a putt for par.  The line was just different enough that there was no radical bouncing, and miraculously, the ball found the hole. Both shots were what you’d call unexpected.

Mike Weir had five birdies on the front and just one on the back, balanced by two bogeys.  He agreed that the course offered treachery around every corner.

“You can hit some really good shots and catch a little slope, and you can get into some awkward spots. That’s a typical Donald Ross,” he said.

His putter was working well in round two. He made a 25-footer on the 4th for birdie. The others were from shorter distances, in the five-to-seven-foot range.  For the year as a whole, he thinks his putting has been holding him back.

Neither Jim Furyk nor Mike Weir expects Stricker to slow down in the final round of the Constellation Furyk & Friends.

“No one’s going to rattle Steve, he’s too good and too much of a veteran,” Furyk said. “The guy’s played like less than 50 events out here and he’s won over 10. His conversion rate’s pretty solid.”

They are going to have to go after him.

On Sunday, once again, conditions are expected to be nearly perfect with sunny skies, temperatures in the low 80s, and just a hint of a breeze.

While the winner is likely to be either Stricker, Furyk, or Weir, there are others within striking distance should they have trouble.

Tournament Host Jim Furyk in The Mix at Constellation Furyk and Friends. dark. Next

Lee Janzen and Thongchai Jaidee are 7- under. Five players are another shot back: Padraig Harrington, Bernhard Langer, Steve Flesch, Rob Labritz, and Ken Duke, who had a hole-in-one on Saturday at the 17th hole.

So, just who will win the guitar-shaped trophy?  We are about to find out.