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Dufner takes the halfway lead, Harrington stumbles

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By Seth Kerr

GolfWRX Staff Writer

Sometimes in life you get the carrot and sometimes you get the stick. Padraig Harrington got the stick today, following up his first-round 61 with a second-round 73 at the Transitions Championship. Harrington needed 33 putts in the second round, 11 more than in the first.

Jason Dufner shot his second-straight bogey-free 66 to take a two shot lead over Harrington and William McGirt.

Luke Donald had another steady round, shooting a 3-under par 68 to finish in a group with five players at 7-under in second place. Donald could regain the No. 1  spot from Rory McIlroy in the Official World Golf Rankings with a win this week.

Many Europeans are in the field this week trying to earn as many points as they can to insure a spot on the Ryder Cup team. Captain Jose Maria Olazabal decided to only make two captain’s picks instead of the three used by Colin Montgomerie in the 2010 matches, so being inside the top 10 is imperative for Europeans that hope to make the team.

Sergio Garcia, Justin Rose, Peter Hansen, Donald and Paul Casey are all trying to pick up coveted points so they do not have to rely on a captain’s pick. However, Casey shot a second round 76 and failed to make the cut. Casey was making just his second start of the year after a skiing accident in the offseason.

Another player trying to pick up as many points and as much money as possible is Jamie Lovemark. Lovemark is playing on a medical exemption after having back surgery in 2011. he has just 16 tournaments to earn enough money to keep his Tour card. Lovemark sits in 13th place; five strokes back after a second round 67.

Jeff Overton is also in the field this week trying to find his game after switching from Mizuno to Cleveland Golf. Since the last Ryder Cup and the infamous, “Boom Baby” shot, Overton has struggled on Tour. Overton has only two top-25 finishes this year, with his best finish coming at the Puerto Rico Open, where he tied for 14th. It would seem Overton’s only shot of making the Ryder Cup team this year is to get hot at the right time and show Davis Love he can bring some of the same fire he did in 2010.

Defending champion, Gary Woodland, made the cut and sits at 3-under par in a tie for 34th place.

The third round can be seen on NBC from 3-6 p.m. EST.

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Seth is an avid golfer playing year round in Florida.

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Tour News

Tiger Woods fires second-round 76, will miss Genesis Open cut

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Tiger Woods’ trip to Los Angeles is over sooner than he’d hoped. Woods fired a 5-over 76 during the second round of the Genesis Open to miss the presumed cut at Riviera by four strokes (the second round won’t be completed until Saturday morning due to darkness).

Hopes were high Woods would continue to build on a T-23 finish at the Farmers Insurance Open. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case, as the driving woes that plagued him at Torrey Pines followed him to the Riv, despite changing shafts in his TaylorMade M3.

RELATED: Tiger Woods WITB

Wayward off the tee, Woods made eight bogeys Friday, unable to grind out a decent score as he did with his opening-round 1-over 72. He was unable to rely on his putter the way did in this first round, three-putting back-to-back holes (No. 11 and 12). A stretch of three straight bogeys sunk Woods’ hopes of hanging around for the weekend.

(c/o PGATour.com)

We won’t have to wait long to see the Big Cat back in action, however, as Woods committed to next week’s Honda Classic at PGA National in Florida. Woods most recently put a peg in the ground at the course in 2014, where he ultimately withdrew due to back spasms.

The 79-time PGA Tour winner hasn’t teed it in back-to-back weeks since 2015, so while fans may not be encouraged by his play, at least he continues to be free from any issues with his surgically repaired back.

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Tour News

Tiger Woods shoots an opening-round 72 (1-over) at the 2018 Genesis Open

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After hitting just 17 fairways all week at the 2018 Farmers Insurance Open, where he finished T23, Tiger Woods switched driver shafts and added 0.75 degrees of loft in his TaylorMade M3 driver ahead of the 2018 Genesis Open this week. He went from using a Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro White 70TX shaft, to a Matrix TP6HDe shaft — he used a TP7HDe shaft back in 2015.

So how did the switch work out for him at Riviera CC on Thursday?

Well, he hit driver 9 times during his round of 72 strokes; four went right — one of which got lost in a tree and he had to re-tee — one went left, and four found the fairway. He hit 8-of-14 fairways in total; no Fred Funk, but an improvement. Woods’ bigger issue on Thursday, actually, was that he hit only 7 greens in regulation, leaving himself a few tricky up-and-downs. Despite hitting only 38 percent of greens, Woods managed to make 5 birdies, and he continues displaying prowess on the greens (1.784 Strokes Gained Putting, and 82 feet worth of putts made).

He also showed some flashes of old Tiger with Arnie-esque follow through.

Of course, that means he missed the fairway way right, and he did go onto bogey the hole, but the shot made for some excitement on golf twitter, at least.

According to @RandallMellGC, Tiger described his round in a post-round interview: “I fought hard. I made a few simple, silly mistakes, bad shots here and there, missed on the wrong side, made a few birdies as well. 1-over’s not bad.”

Yea, that’s about right.

Tiger currently sits at T66, and six shots off the leader. Lots of golf to play, but he’ll likely be contending with the cutline come Friday afternoon. How do you think Tiger will finish this week at the 2018 Genesis Open?

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Custom Camerons, wedge stampings, a 6-hybrid, and Tiger wearing Tennis shoes?

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Yesterday, we brought you shots of Thomas Pieters’ iron stamping, Adam Scott’s new (shorter) wand, and more.

Today, we’ve got some more choice shots from the range at Riviera from Tuesday’s practice. Strap in for a sampling from a cornucopia of WITB shots and a helping of Tiger Woods (who we feature in two galleries). We also discussed his new driver shaft yesterday, so if you missed that piece, check it out.

On to the pictures.

First up, Wesley Bryan looks to be gaming an some Anthony Taranto artistry with his 54-degree Mack Daddy 4 wedge. Do work, indeed!

Ted Potter, Jr. won more than a million dollars at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am last week. But as the check hasn’t come yet, he hasn’t been able to buy Goo Gone to take the tape residue off the bottom of his putter.

A custom Cam for Rafa Cabrera Bello.

…and William McGirt.

#GrindGoals (Luke Donald’s 60-degree Mizuno T7)

Vijay Singh looks to have gotten his foot stuck in a bear trap, and yet he’s still practicing!

The most famous putter in golf, and Nike Vapor Advantage tennis shoes for Tiger?

Apparently, all the weight modification available on PXG 0311 irons was insufficient for Charl Schwartzel.

When your name scripting matches your sponsor’s script…

This is not the WITB of a 20-handicapper, rather Camilo Villegas may be the only Tour pro gaming a 6-hybrid.

So much is going on with Camilo Villegas’ irons…

You’ve seen custom stampings, but how about Bubba Watson’s custom shaft and custom shaft graphic?

When you’re the only PGA Tour professional to own a candy store, your wedge imagery reflects that fact.

The Big Cat browsing GolfWRX on mobile, no doubt…

If you’d like to dig deeper, we have two galleries of range photos from the Riv, plus 13 (!) WITB threads. Dig in!

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