Woodland leads McIlroy, DeChambeau at Sentry TOC
Day 2 of the Sentry Tournament of Champions featured more birdies, more windy conditions and, yes, more flagsticks being left in the on greens. But there was also a rules violation, a snapped scoring streak and Gary Woodland rising to the top of the leaderboard. Here’s where we stand at the midway point at Kapalua:
Leaderboard: Gary Woodland (-12), Bryson DeChambeau (-9), Rory McIlroy (-9), Kevin Tway (-9), Marc Leishman (-8), Justin Thomas (-7), Cameron Champ (-7), Xander Schauffele (-7)
What it means: Woodland is quietly enjoying quite the hot streak. After a spring slump following last February’s win in Phoenix, Woodland caught fire last summer and recently has notched six top-12 finishes in his past seven worldwide starts. That includes a runner-up finish at the CJ Cup and two more fall top-10s. Woodland, who recently signed an endorsement deal to play 10 Wilson Golf clubs, used a streak of five straight birdies, on Nos. 11-15, to help post a 6-under 67 and take a three-shot lead in his first Tournament of Champions since 2014. Woodland’s 16 birdies through 36 holes this week is a personal record on Tour.
Round of the day: Xander Schauffele, playing for the first time as a top-10 player in the world, jump started his second round with a 30-foot birdie make at the par-3 second. He added five more birdies, kept his card clean and fired a 6-under 67 to climb to T-6 on the leaderboard.
Best of the rest: DeChambeau continued his flagstick-in ways, and though he didn’t putt as well as he did in Round 1, he did go bogey-free in shooting 68. The world No. 5 is looking for his fourth victory in his past seven starts. It’s been a little longer since McIlroy has won – March to be exact – but the world’s eighth-ranked player is looking sharp in his Kapalua debut. McIlroy birdied four of his final seven holes Friday and carded a 68, one shot better than his first-round score.
Biggest disappointment: Dustin Johnson entered Friday with zero over-par rounds in 32 trips around the Plantation Course. That streak ended with a 1-over 74 that included a two-shot penalty on the fourth hole. Johnson played the wrong ball out of a penalty area and went on to make double bogey.
Main storyline heading into Saturday: Woodland has three victories, though none came over a field like this. He also has failed to convert each of his previous five 36-hole leads on Tour into wins. Behind Woodland are major winners such as McIlroy and Thomas, and the young pair of DeChambeau and Schauffele, who have already combined to win three FedExCup playoff events, a WGC and the Memorial. Oh, and then there’s long-hitting rookie Cameron Champ, tied for sixth, looking to become this season’s first two-time winner. With winds expected to lessen over the weekend, scores could get better, too – and McIlroy will certainly welcome calmer conditions. But Woodland does have this going for him: no winner in the past eight editions at Kapalua was more than two shots back after 36 holes.
Shot of the day: It was always going to be hard to follow Patton Kizzire’s hole-in-one on Thursday, but Schauffele gets the nod for Friday’s best with this 313-yard 3-wood on the par-5 closing hole. Who cares if he missed the eagle putt?
Quote of the day: “I hit a 7-iron from 130 yards. That’s 65 yards short of where I normally hit it.” – Woodland describing the severity of the wind.