Durant on Top Goosen Others Close


2006 Zurich ClassicNEW ORLEANS -- Joe Durant fired an 8-under 64 Friday to take a two-stroke lead after two rounds of the Zurich Classic of New Orleans. Durant stands at 12-under-par 132 at the halfway point.
Brett Wetterich birdied the final hole Friday to post a 7-under 65 to take second place at minus-10.
Two-time U.S. Open champion Retief Goosen shot 3-under 69 to move to 9- under-par 135. He was joined at third place by Stephen Leaney (67), Ian Poulter (68), Ryan Hietala (68), Charley Hoffman (69), Michael Allen (67) and Eric Axley (65).
Ian Poulter
Ian Poulter is one of seven players tied for third place.
Phil Mickelson, playing for the first time since winning The Masters for the second time, managed a 1-under 71 in round two. He stands in a tie for 33rd at 5-under-par 139.
Durant came flying out of the gate as he dropped in a 10-footer for birdie on the first. At the fifth, he nearly holed his approach as his second shot to the par-4 stopped a foot from the cup.
The three-time winner on the PGA Tour kicked that in for birdie, then got up and down for birdie on the next. Durant made it three straight as he drained a 15-footer for birdie on the seventh at English Turn Golf & Country Club.
Durant hit a wedge to 15 feet on No. 10 and converted that for birdie. At the par-5 11th, he two-putted for birdie to move to minus-10.
The 42-year-old left himself 40 feet for birdie on 14 and calmly rolled that in for his seventh birdie of the round. Durant sank a 10-footer for birdie at the last to cap a bogey-free round.
'There was a little bit of wind in the middle of the round, but otherwise the conditions were fine,' Durant said. 'For the most part, it was pretty calm and I just played fairly steady. I hit a lot of fairways and greens. I didn't try to do anything fancy.'
Wetterich started on the back nine and got going with consecutive birdies from the 11th and again from the 14th.
He made the turn at 8 under with a birdie on the par-4 18th. Wetterich, however, tripped to a bogey on the first. He erased that mistake with a birdie at the par-4 fourth.
Wetterich joined the crowd at minus-9 as he birdied the par-5 sixth. He birdied the par-4 ninth, his last, to take over solo second place.
Goosen also started on the back side Friday. He notched three birdies and two bogeys to make the turn at 7 under par. Around the turn, Goosen birdied the fourth and eighth to share third place.
'I would like to go for the greens, but I keep driving in the rough,' Goosen said. 'That's the problem. I hit a few bad drives. I didn't quite drive it as well as I did Thursday. I need to work on that a little this afternoon, and hopefully play better Saturday.'
Louisiana-native David Toms is tied for 10th place at 8-under-par 136 with Verizon Heritage winner Aaron Baddeley (67) and Glen Day (68).
First-round leader Graeme McDowell struggled to a 1-over 73 and is one stroke further back at minus-7. He was joined there by 10 other players.
The cut line fell at 4-under-par 140 with 71 players moving on to the final two rounds. Tim Petrovic, the 2005 champion, missed by one stroke finishing at minus-3.
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