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Holmes Still The Favourite Despite Couples Two Shot Lead

Holmes Still The Favourite Despite Couples Two Shot Lead


JB Holmes sits at 6-under par heading to the weekend, but it’s 51-year old Fred Couples who has the lead at 8-under at the Northern Trust Open in California.

Holmes would have gone to the weekend tied for the lead with the ageless Couples if not for the mess he made of the 18th in round two where a wayward tee shot ultimately led to a double bogey putting a damper on a fine closing stretch where he made three straight birdies from 15 to 17.

In the end, he shot a 69 despite missing over half the fairways in round two.  He’s going to have to straighten out his tee ball over the next 36 holes if he’s going to keep pace, but there still seems to be some faith in the long hitter at (6-1).

Couples, meanwhile, will go out at (13-2) after a bogey free 66 in round two.  He got his round off with a bang posting an eagle on the first hole and seemed to be in the zone for the next 17 holes as well.

One thing that really stood out for the former Masters champion was his scrambling ability as he managed to get up and down with an almost ridiculous ease the five times he missed the green in round two.

Couples is still a world class player, but as was lamented yesterday, the question will be if his back can hold up over the weekend.  He’s been in contention a number of times late in his career, but his body just couldn’t keep pace over the final round or two.

Two Australians, Aaron Baddeley and Robert Allenby, come in third on the ledger at (10-1).  Baddeley currently sits at 6-under after a tidy second round 69.  He made just one bogey even though he only managed to hit 60% of the greens in round two.

Riviera is playing relatively tough so if Baddeley can avoid any big numbers and keep plodding along he will have a real chance to stay in the mix.  It’s not going to take crazy low numbers to win this week.

Allenby sits a shot back of his countryman at 5-under after a far more colourful second round.  He was only 1-under for his second 18 as he couldn’t shake his mistakes making  three bogeys that mitigated almost all of his four biridies.

He’ll have to eliminate the mistakes if he’s going to keep pace and seeing as he hasn’t challenged for a title in quite some time it’s possible he’ll fade on the weekend.


I would tweet everyone that I am right now one ahead of J.B. Holmes, and let them all know   - Fred Couples

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