Swafford leads CareerBuilder; Mickelson 4 back

By Ryan Reiterman January 20, 2017, 10:21 pm

Hudson Swafford will take the lead into the weekend at the CareerBuilder Challenger, but a familiar name isn't too far down the leaderboard:

Leaderboard: Hudson Swafford (-14); Dominic Bozzelli (-13); Danny Lee (-13); Brendan Steele (-12); Brian Harman (-12)

What it means: Swafford opened with two rounds of 65, and he has only made one bogey so far. Friday he didn't have a blemish on the scorecard. He made seven birdies on the Nicklaus Tournament Course, and he will head to the PGA West Stadium Course for the third and fourth rounds. In his fourth year on Tour, Swafford is still seeking his first win.

Round of the day: Brendan Steele and Danny Lee both recorded 8-under 64s but on different courses. Lee went low at La Quinta Country Club, while Steele – a winner earlier this season in Napa – torched the Nicklaus Tournament Course.

Best of the rest: Despite periods of rain and wind, there were still plenty of birdies in Round 2. Swafford fired a 65 to grab the lead, and Brian Harman matched Swafford with a 65 at the Stadium Course to move into a tie for fourth, two strokes back. 

Biggest disappointment: Jhonattan Vegas started the day one stroke off the lead, but he tumbled down the leaderboard after a 3-over 75 at the Stadium Course. He ended his round triple bogey-bogey.

Shot of the day: Phil Mickelson is only four back after a 6-under 66 at the Nicklaus Tournament Course. The highlight of Lefty's round was a bunker hole-out at the par-4 first hole.

Quote of the day: "I hit a lot more good shots today than I did yesterday, but I'm still hitting some really bad ones. And that's fine, it's to be expected." - Phil Mickelson

Main storyline heading into Saturday: Mickelson heads to the Stadium Course for the weekend, still looking for his first win since the 2013 Open. His game is still rusty after a long layoff as he recovered from two sports hernia surgeries. But so far Mickelson has been scoring well while also serving as tournament ambassador

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Koepka primed for CJ Cup win and world No. 1

By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 19, 2018, 6:00 am

Brooks Koepka wants a 2-for-1 at the CJ Cup. If he can collect his second non-major PGA Tour victory he can become world No. 1 for the first time in his career.

He’s in great position to accomplish his goal.

Koepka eagled the par-5 18th en route to a 7-under 65 in the second round at Nine Bridges in Juju Island, South Korea. At 8 under par, he is one back of 36-hole leader Scott Piercy (65).

Koepka, currently ranked third in the world, began the day three shots off the lead, but rapidly ascended the leaderboard. He birdied four of his first eight holes before finding trouble at the ninth. Koepka hooked his tee shot out of bounds, but the ninth is a par 5 and he was able to salvage bogey.

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That was his only dropped shot of the day.

The reigning Tour Player of the Year birdied the 12th and 14th holes in his bid to keep pace with Piercy. Koepka was two back as he played his final hole, where he knocked his second shot to 10 feet. He deftly converted the eagle effort to tie Piercy and earn a spot in Saturday’s final twosome. Piercy later pulled a shot ahead with a birdie at the ninth, his final hole of the day.

Koepka has officially won four PGA Tour events, but three of those are majors (2017, ’18 U.S. Open; 2018 PGA). His lone non-major win was the 2015 Waste Management Phoenix Open.

He can still reach world No. 1 with a solo second place, assuming Justin Thomas, currently world No. 4, doesn’t win this week.

That will take a mighty weekend effort by the defending champ.

Thomas also eagled the 18th hole to go from 1 over to 1 under. He shot 2-under 70 in the second round and is seven shots off the lead.

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'Go in'? Yes, JT wants an ace at the par-4 14th

By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 19, 2018, 5:11 am

Justin Thomas didn’t hesitate after hitting his tee shot on the 353-yard, par-4 14th in Round 2 of the CJ Cup.

“Go in,” he immediately said.

“Please go in,” he added.

Thomas’ tee shot was on a great line, but it landed just short of the green. Surprisingly, it took three more shots for his ball to "go in." After birdies on Nos. 12 and 13, Thomas parred the 14th.

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Watch: Dufner makes six (!) fist pumps after birdie

By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 19, 2018, 4:53 am

Jason Dufner makes Ben Stein seem like Jonathan Winters. Dufner often looks mighty miserable for someone who plays golf for a living.

But not on Friday at the CJ Cup!

Dufner made a 20-footer for birdie at the 16th hole and “celebrated” with one-two-three-(pause)-four-five-six fist pumps. There could have been more, but the camera cut away.

That was Dufner’s third birdie on the back nine, which offset a triple bogey at the par-3 seventh, en route to an even-par 72. Good times.

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Watch: Paul C-ace-y makes hole-in-one at CJ Cup

By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 19, 2018, 2:35 am

Par-par-par-par-par-par. It was a boring second round over the first six holes for Paul Casey at the CJ Cup.

And then he aced the par-3 seventh.

Casey's tee shot from 176 tracked straight towards the hole and rolled in near the final revolution. That got him to 2 under par for the tournament. He was five off the lead, held by Chez Reavie, but bogeyed the ninth and 10th holes to give back those two strokes.

Hey, it's a no-cut event and a guaranteed paycheck. Drinks on Casey!