SAN ANTONIO – Australian Steven Bowditch, who is ranked 339th in the world, leads after two rounds of the Valero Texas Open at TPC San Antonio.
Bowditch shot a 5-under 67 Friday and was at 8 under after 36 holes.
Bowditch holed out from 83 yards for an eagle on the par-4 12th hole. The 30-year-old topped the leaderboard at the end of a round for the first time in his PGA Tour career.
“My wedge shots have been pretty good,” he said. “I was trying to hit (the one on No. 12) a little past the pin and hope it came back to a reasonable distance. Got lucky.”
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Bowditch closed the round with a double bogey on the par-4 ninth, taking two chips to get out of heavy rough.
Chad Collins (66) and rookie Andrew Loupe (70) were a stroke off the lead.
Michael Putnam (71) of University Place was tied for 25th at 1 under. As for former Washington Huskies, Alex Prugh (73) of Spokane was tied for 33rd at even par and Richard H. Lee (75) was tied for 69th at 3 over.
Players at 4-over 148 and worse for 36 holes missed the cut, a group that included Kyle Stanley (74-75—149) of Gig Harbor.
Phil Mickelson, ranked fifth in the world, made the cut on the number. He blasted out of a greenside water hazard to 5 feet to set up a birdie on the final hole.
Mickelson (70) was in a stream that runs in front of the 18th green after attempting to reach the par-5 hole in two from 288 yards with a 3-wood.
“I needed to make a birdie to have a chance at playing tomorrow,” Mickelson said. “Fortunately, barely went in, and it looked like the water overlapped the grass. It was not that hard of a shot.”
Mickelson has struggled this year and entered the Texas Open for the first time in 22 years to put his game under competitive conditions as a preparation for the Masters, which starts April 10 at Augusta National in Georgia. He knew he had a chance to make the cut, even after a bogey on No. 15 dropped him to 3 over.
“I was on the green for five minutes and (the 3-over score) went from 74th to 71st in five minutes,” Mickelson said, “so I figured that 3 over had a pretty good chance of making it because the scores were coming back.”
On the 18th, Mickelson pulled off his left shoe and rolled up that pants leg and gave it a shot with his foot in the water.
“It’s important that I get more mentally into the round, like I did today,” said Mickelson, who shot an opening-round 77. “Yesterday, I was very sloppy. I like the way I’m driving the ball. My speed is back. My back feels great. My body feels great, and I’m able to hit the ball hard again.”
Carter sets record in LPGA event
CARLSBAD, Calif. – Dori Carter shot an 8-under 64 to set the course record at Aviara and lead after two rounds of the LPGA Kia Classic.
Carter, who played college golf at Mississippi, is winless in 44 starts on the LPGA Tour. She had 11 birdies and three bogeys in the second round and was at 10 under for a two-stroke lead over Stacy Lewis (66) and Cristie Kerr (68).
Former Washington State player Kim Welch (80-76—156) missed the cut.
“No matter what happens this weekend, I can’t believe I’m here,” Carter said. “This is my first time (leading after a round). I mean, this is an experience for me. It’s kind of like I can’t lose. … I have no reason to be uptight or anything because this is my first time. I’m OK with that.”