Fresh Coat - Friday, March 13
Covering the Valspar Championship Daily
Brendon de Jonge added a second round 69 to his opening 67 to enter the weekend at 6 under par with a one-shot lead at the midway point of the Valspar Championship presented by BB&T. However, the native of Zimbabwe’s advantage is tenuous with five golfers just one shot back, a total of 26 within four shots and all 71 who made the cut (which was at plus-one) within seven shots of the lead.
De Jonge, playing in his 221st event this week, is still looking for his first win, but he has 26 top 10 finishes which includes a 5th place result in the 2011 Valspar.
The group of five who are one shot back at -5 includes two members of the Official World Golf Ranking’s top 10 – Henrik Stenson and Jordan Spieth, 2013 Valspar champion Kevin Streelman and a pair of previous PGA TOUR winners Ryan Moore (4) and Derek Ernst (2013 Quail Hollow).
Other top players who will be going off late in the day include Ian Poulter (-4), Vijay Singh (-3) and Matt Kuchar and Luke Donald at -2. Singh, who turned 52 last month, will be paired at 12:45 with Justin Thomas who turns 22 next month.
The Copperhead played about 1.5 shots harder than it did on Thursday, but not for Jonathan Byrd at the 15th hole. He scored the 10th hole-in-one in tournament history. It was the second ever at the 15th in this event (Mathias Gronberg-2004).
Despite the ace, Byrd missed the cut in this event for the first time in 12 tries. He still owns the tournament record with most cuts made with 11. Woody Austin, who also missed the cut, is second with 10 made cuts.
Brendon de Jonge’s 36-hole lead of 6-under is the highest leading score after 2 rounds since Steve Stricker and Nick Watney led the 2009 event with the same score at the midway point. The year before, Brandt Snedeker’s 36-hole lead of 5-under remains the highest score to lead after 2 rounds
The official tee times for the third round can be viewed here.
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Attendance has been notably up the first two days and with a favorable weather forecast for Saturday, tournament organizers are expecting strong attendance for the third round. In addition to golf competition, the first Valspar LIVE! post-golf concert will kickoff at 7 p.m. on the nearby Osprey Driving Range. The concert features The Band Perry, fresh from their triumph at the Grammy® Awards where their recording of “Gentle On My Mind” won for Best Country Duo/Group Performance. All Saturday golf patrons will be welcomed to the concert free of charge.
In addition to the tournament’s traditional parking locations, patrons arriving from the south on U.S. 19 can park in the new Lot #4 at 31975 US 19 North located between Curlew and Tampa Roads. From the north, the tournament is offering additional parking at St. Luke’s Cataract & Laser Institute at 43309 US 19 N in Tarpon Springs. Free shuttle buses will operate to the course and from the concert to all parking locations.