Padraig Harrington returned a two-over par 74 to drop back to level par as Cameron Tringale grabbed a two-shot lead at the halfway stage of the Valero Texas Open.
After a strong start on the San Antonio course on Thursday, the Dubliner was unable to get any forward momentum in tougher, windier conditions in round two, carding two bogeys and no pars to fall 19 places down the board to a tie for 32nd.
That’s nine shots back of Tringale’s lead but one stroke better off than Graeme McDowell whose one-under par 71 saw him leap 36 places up the leaderboard to a share of 44th at one-over. Off the back of a tied-fourth result at last week’s Corales Puntacana Championship, the 41-year old posted two birdies and one bogey on a solid showing to cruise into the weekend two clear of the cut-mark.
Tringale, meanwhile, has played in the Valero Texas Open each year since it moved to TPC San Antonio in 2010 and has recorded two top-10s in the 10 prior appearances. He’ll be hoping to go a few places better this week after a five-birdie streak on Friday propelled him to a 69 and a two shot lead with Jordan Spieth and Matt Wallace heading the chasing pack at minus-seven.
“My takeaway was that it was a good day,” said Tringale. “I made a lot of birdies and took advantage of my — when I was in the fairway, I took advantage most of the time. Except for the last hole, I kept it in play and just had a lot of looks and a few went in.”
“I’d like to hit a few more fairways. My driver was just kind of leaking left, or not fading back. Hit a few extra drives tomorrow. But other than that, I’m just going to keep doing what I’m doing.”
Spieth added a round of 70 to his opening 67 as his form continues to trend in the right direction ahead of next week’s Masters.
“Everyone towards the top of the leaderboard’s got to play in the same conditions now, so that will be nice,” said Spieth with more wind expected in round two.
“You know, it’s going to be tough. I thought 2 under was a good score today and certainly could have shot lower, but was able to climb back from a couple bogeys on the back nine. It’s kind of just stay in there, stay in there, stay in there and give yourself a chance come the back nine Sunday. That’s really the best prep I can do for not only trying to win this golf tournament, but also for next week.”
- Full scoring HERE
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