Former UCLA player Scott McCarron found his old stomping grounds just to his liking as he carved a smooth-3, 68, out of Riviera Country Club for a two shot lead after the Northern Trust Open's second round. On a day where par was a mere suggestion, first round leader Phil Mickelson shot one of the few over par rounds, a +1, 72. That backed him up to -7 overall and in the middle of a logjam for 3rd place. Tommy Armour II, -4, -8 was tied with a surging Steve Stricker for 2nd. Stricker carded an impressive 66 to punctuate his move up the board. The rest of the pack tied at -7 included KJ Choi, Luke Donald, Geoff Ogilvy, Pat Perez, and Rory Sabbatini, who until today was thought to have entered the federal witness protection program. Welcome back Rory. Anything to say about Tiger's return?
Vincent Johnson, recipient of the Charlie Sifford Exemption was cruising to make the cut at -1 when he was victimized by one of my least favorite rules in golf. While addressing a chip shot on the 5th hole his ball was deemed to have moved resulting in a triple bogey. He missed the cut by those same two penalty strokes. Average Golfer says if an addressed ball is moved by the equivalent of a butterfly fart then, no harm, no foul. Heralded Japanese rookie Ryo Ishikawa also missed the cut by two strokes with 70, 74.
Poor Phil. Yesterday's 63 got scorched in the golf headlines by the return of Tiger Woods and today he was one of a select few to back up to par.
If the benign conditions hold through the weekend then it's go low or go home. Take in the birdie fest.