Its an International Love Fest


CASTLE ROCK, Colo. -- Davis Love III eagled three holes Friday en route to 17 points and a comfortable lead after two rounds of The International. He has 36 points through 36 holes and owns a 10-point lead over John Rollins.
At The International, play is contested using the modified Stableford scoring system. Players receive two points for a birdie, five points for an eagle and eight points for a double eagle. Players lose one point for a bogey and three points for a double bogey or worse, with a par receiving a score of zero.
The three eagles Friday for Love matched a PGA Tour record for most eagles in one round, which 12 players have done previously. Mathew Goggin did it most recently in the 2001 Invensys Classic at Las Vegas and Love also turned the trick once before at the 1994 Hawaiian Open. Love became the first player ever to record three eagles in tournament history.
The 36 points through two rounds is also a new tournament record, besting the mark of 34 that Ernie Els tallied in 2000.
'I played some pretty good rounds back-to-back, but not this low of scoring,' said Love, who netted 19 points in the first round, falling one shy of the one-round record. 'Yesterday we were saying 10 birdies; no eagles. Today I got all the eagles, so you never know. But it was exciting.'
Phil Mickelson, the 1997 champion, tallied 14 points Friday to take third place with 22 points. Vijay Singh recorded 15 points and Kent Jones 14 to share fourth place with 19 points.
Love, the 1997 PGA Champion, started on the second nine Friday and knocked a pitching-wedge 20 feet from the hole, where he sank the putt. Two holes later, Love missed the fairway with a 3-wood, but wedged his approach to 15 feet to set up another birdie.
At the par-5 14th, Love reached the green with a 4-iron and landed the ball 30 feet from the stick. He drained the long eagle putt to pick up his ninth point of the round through only five holes.
Love found trouble at the par-3 16th when his tee ball landed in the back right bunker. His blast from the sand stopped 35 feet from the hole where he two-putted for bogey, but rebounded with an amazing shot at 17. Love's 4-iron second at the par-5 hole nearly fell in for a double eagle but instead lipped out, forcing him to settle for a tap-in eagle, his second of the round.
'The reaction of the crowd, we figured it had come real close or lipped out; then somebody said after I was done that it did lip out,' said Love, referring to his approach at 17. 'You can only see about half the stick so you can't really tell, but I knew I hit a good shot right at it.'
Love hit a good drive at the par-5 first then played a 3-iron eight feet from the hole. He made that eagle putt to match the PGA Tour record then birdied No. 2.
He ran into a lull with five consecutive pars, but Love would have gladly taken par at the par-5 eighth. Love hit a poor shot and had to take an unplayable lie, but had six feet to save bogey. He missed that putt for a double bogey and a loss of three points.
'Obviously I didn't finish the way I wanted to, but I hit the ball, except for the tee shot at 8, very good all the way,' said Love, a three-time winner on tour this season. 'I was looking like I was going to get into the 40s but I obviously made a lot more points on the par-fives today than I did yesterday even with the double bogey.'
Rollins had 12 points in his round until a mistake at the par-3 fourth hole. His tee ball landed in the right hazard and he took a drop and did well to save bogey and lose only one point instead of three.
Rollins rebounded after the miscue at four when he played a wedge to six feet at No. 6 to set up birdie. He went past Mickelson into second place at the par-5 eighth when he two-putted for birdie from 35 feet.
That final birdie gave Rollins 15 points on Friday and put him within striking distance of Love, a feat that seemed impossible when Rollins teed off on Friday afternoon.
'My initial reaction was we're playing for second,' said Rollins. 'But then once I got out and started playing, I saw that he was only at 36 and then I started to make some birdies and get points on my own and get over the 20 mark. Then at the end of the day, now you feel like you have a chance, you are back in the tournament. He still has to play. Before he just had a cake walk.'
Bob Tway and Charles Howell III share sixth place with 18 points, followed by 2001 U.S. Open champion Retief Goosen, who netted 15 points on Friday for a 36-hole total of 17.
The 36-hole cut came at four points and 2002 champion Rich Beem missed the cut. He finished with minus-5 points and joined Jay Haas (-1), Fred Funk (-5) and David Duval (-7) as big-name players who will miss the third round.
There will be another cut after Saturday's third round and that cut will trim the field to the low-36 plus ties.
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