In truth, I always look at the first two rounds of the Final Stage as one, 36-hole round. Players are split between two courses, so it's hard to say exactly what the leaderboard truly looks like until each player has played both courses. Here are a few things that stood out:
- Several of the successful qualifiers from 2011 are performing well out the gates. Alexandre Rocha (T2/65), Richard H. Lee (T6/66), Vaughn Taylor (T20/68) are all inside the number to advance.
- The phrase "beware the wounded golfer" has never applied more than it does this week with Kris Blanks. Nursing multiple injuries, Blanks fired a 7-under 65 and is tied for second. Imagine if he had the flu to go with it. He probably would have been on 59 watch!
- 4-under is the current PGA TOUR cut line. It's a tad surprising it's that low, considering 8-under was good enough to nab a card last year. I'd imagine that pace will slow as the pressure ramps up when the holes tick away a little more.
- 135 players (of 172) shot par or better. All of those 135 players accomplished goal #1 of not shooting themselves out of the tournament on the first day; if that's even possible in a 108-hole tournament.
- Of those over par, perhaps Patrick Cantlay at 1-over may be the most surprising. He also took his time getting it going in the Second Stage before taking care of business, so even he has no reason to panic with 90 holes remaining.