Zurich Classic golf: Ben Martin shows composure to stay in the lead

Updated: 26 April 2014 11:56 IST

Ben Martin had his first bogey, and double-bogey, of the tournament but still moved to 15-under 129, well clear of closest pursuer Andrew Svoboda and on track for his first PGA Tour victory.

Zurich Classic golf: Ben Martin shows composure to stay in the lead

Zurich:

Ben Martin followed up his stunning first-round 62 by shooting a 67 on Friday to put him three shots clear of the field at the Zurich Classic and notch the best-ever two-round total at TPC Louisiana.

Martin had his first bogey, and double-bogey, of the tournament but still moved to 15-under 129, well clear of closest pursuer Andrew Svoboda and on track for his first PGA Tour victory.

Svoboda followed his opening 64 with a 68, while Robert Streb (66) and Sueng-Yul Noh (68) were tied for third at 11 under. Erik Compton also shot a 68 and was at 10 under, a score that keeps the two-time heart transplant recipient in contention for his maiden PGA Tour triumph. Tied with Compton for fifth was Peter Hanson, who shot 69, four shots off the pace of his strong opening round.

Keegan Bradley (66), Jeff Overton (68) and Charley Hoffman (67) were 9 under.

The tournament record score at TPC Louisiana- which is hosting New Orleans' PGA Tour event for the ninth time - is 20 under, set last year by Billy Horschel.

For a while, it looked as if Martin might match that in the second round. Starting the day on the 10th hole, Martin sank a birdie, and on the par-5 11th, he chipped in from nearly 58 feet, and he also birdied the 13th.

Martin said his hot start was cooled off, almost poetically, by the sound of ice being poured into a cooler in one of the VIP suites overlooking the par-3 17th hole. It forced him to back away from a putt attempt, and he wound up three-putting.

Then he proceeded to hit his drive into water to the right of the 18th fairway, and three-putted for a double bogey.

Yet, as he walked off the green, he smiled slightly and proceeded calmly and purposefully to the first tee, where he made the first of four birdies on his second nine.

Svoboda, who will tee off with the final group for the first time in a PGA Tour event, continued to be pleased with his putting, which he credited in part to a new putter.

His highlights included a 40-yard bunker shot to set up a 12-foot birdie putt on the par-5 2nd.

He didn't have a single bogey in the tournament until his final hole of the day, when he three-putted the par-3 ninth.

"I hit a bad second putt there," he said of his miss from 6 feet. "But I dug pretty hard today. I played really well, so I'm pretty happy."

Topics : Golf
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