2017 CareerBuilder Challenge Second-Round Notes – Friday, January 20, 2017
Weather: Mostly cloudy with areas of rain. High of 63. Wind NE to SSE 8-15 mph.
Hudson Swafford 65-65—130 (-14) LQ-NT
Dominic Bozzelli 64-67—131 (-13) SC-LQ
Danny Lee 67-64—131 (-13) SC-LQ
Brendan Steele 68-64—132 (-12) LQ-NT
Brian Harman 67-65—132 (-12) NT-SC
Making his fourth consecutive start in the CareerBuilder Challenge, Hudson Swafford posted a bogey-free 65 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course to lead by one.
This marks Swafford’s second lead/co-lead after any round on the PGA TOUR. He previously held a share of the lead with five others after the first round of the 2014 OHL Classic at Mayakoba (T51).
In last week’s Sony Open in Hawaii, Swafford ranked within the top three on the leaderboard through the first three rounds (R1/62/2nd, R2/68/T3, R3/66/T3), before a final-round 1-over 71 resulted in a T13 finish.
Swafford’s 130 total through the first two rounds is the same as his opening 36 at Waialae CC last week (62-68). He was seven shots back of leader Justin Thomas.
Swafford has only missed five fairways this week. Swafford’s career-best consecutive greens in regulation is 17, which has happened twice in his career, but most recently at the 2016 CareerBuilder Challenge at La Quinta Country Club.
Swafford is on a streak of 18 consecutive cuts made. Adam Scott leads the TOUR with 22.
In his three previous starts at the CareerBuilder Challenge, the T25 in his first year of 2014 marks his best showing.
Swafford competed at PGA TOUR Qualifying School at PGA WEST in 2011 when it was won by fellow University of Georgia alum Brendon Todd. Despite missing out on his PGA TOUR card by two shots, his week was highlighted by a 65 on the Stadium Course in round five.
Swafford, who joined the PGA TOUR in the 2013-14 season, remains in search of his first career win on TOUR in his 93rd start. His best showings are a pair of T8s at the 2014 Sony Open in Hawaii and 2014 Safeway Open.
With a win this week, Swafford would become the eighth player to earn his first PGA TOUR title at the CareerBuilder Challenge, joining Bill Rogers (1978), Craig Stadler (1980), Donnie Hammond (1986), Charley Hoffman (2007), Pat Perez (2009), Bill Haas (2010) and Jhonattan Vegas (2011).
Swafford is making his sixth start of the season this week, with a T13 at last week’s Sony Open in Hawaii his strongest performance.
Second-Round Leader Notes
Through nine events in the 2016-17 PGA TOUR Season, six players have converted a 36-hole lead/co-lead into victory, most recently being Justin Thomas at last week’s Sony Open in Hawaii.
Since 2000, there have been eight 36-hole leaders/co-leaders who have gone on to win the CareerBuilder Challenge – Joe Durant (2001), Chad Campbell (2006), D.J. Trahan (2008), Pat Perez (2009), Jhonattan Vegas (2011), Mark Wilson (2012), Patrick Reed (2014) and Jason Dufner (2016).
A day after opening with a bogey-free 8-under 64 on the Stadium Course, PGA TOUR rookie Dominic Bozzelli followed with a bogey-free 5-under 67 at La Quinta Country Club.
Bozzelli leads the field in Strokes Gained (7.423)
SG: Approach the Green 3.479 (3rd)
SG: Around the Green 0.926 (16)
The New York native made his way to the PGA TOUR this season by virtue of his 24th-place finish on the 2016 Web.com Tour priority list. On that Tour last season, he fired a 9-under 63 in round two of the Corales Puntacana Resort and Club Championship in the Dominican Republic to claim a four-stroke victory.
Bozzelli is making his sixth start of the 2016-17 PGA TOUR Season, with a T35 at the Safeway Open his best showing. He comes into this week on the heels of three straight missed cuts.
Making his fourth start in the CareerBuilder Challenge, Danny Lee posted a bogey-free 8-under 64 at La Quinta Country Club, his best score in 13 rounds. (2015-T64, 2014-MC and 2012-T66).
Lee is making his fifth start of the season where he has yet to post three consecutive sub-par rounds in an event.
Lee has wins on the PGA TOUR, Web.com Tour and on the European Tour. His lone TOUR victory came at the 2015 Greenbrier Classic.
Lee, a New Zealand citizen by way of South Korea, represented the International Team in his first Presidents Cup in South Korea in 2015 (he went 1-2-0). He is currently 18th in the standings for the 2017 Presidents Cup at Liberty National.
Brendan Steele, who is from nearby Idyllwild, Calif., fired a bogey-free 8-under 64 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course. He has now played his last 34 holes without a bogey.
Steele won the first event of the new PGA TOUR season, earning his second PGA TOUR title at the Safeway Open. He previously won the 2011 Valero Texas Open.
In addition to his win in Napa, Steele finished T6 at the SBS Tournament of Champions and is currently No. 4 in the FedExCup, the highest-ranked player in the field.
Today’s 64 matches his low round in the tournament. He previously recorded a 64 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course in the third round of 2013, and a 64 in the final round on the Palmer Course in 2015.
Steele’s best performance in six previous starts in the CareerBuilder Challenge is a T2 in 2015. He finished T34 in 2016.
CareerBuilder Challenge Ambassador and two-time winner of the event (2002, 2004) Phil Mickelson followed his 4-under 68 (LQ) with a 6-under 66 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course and is currently four back, the same amount of strokes off the lead he was last year after 36 holes.
In 61 rounds in the CareerBuilder Challenge, Mickelson has 57 rounds at par or better.
This marks Mickelson’s 14th start in the CareerBuilder Challenge, dating to a missed cut in 1993.
The 2017 CareerBuilder Challenge is Mickelson’s second start of the 2016-17 PGA TOUR Season (T8 Safeway Open).
Mickelson, a 42-time winner on the PGA TOUR and member of the World Golf Hall of Fame, is in search of his first TOUR win since the 2013 Open Championship.
Additional player notes
Brian Harman (T4) and Chris Kirk (T9) join leader Hudson Swafford as Georgia Bulldogs in the top 10 of the leaderboard.
Defending champion Jason Dufner birdied his last three holes on the Nicklaus Tournament Course (Nos. 7-9), totaling six birdies against no bogeys for a 6-under 66. With his opening 1-under 71, he is T21 and seven shots back.
Daniel Summerhays’ streak of consecutive holes without a 3-putt came to an end on the 15th hole (Nicklaus Tournament Course). Summerhays had played his last 285 holes without a 3-putt, a current TOUR record.
Eleven past champions of the CareerBuilder Challenge are in the field: Mark Brooks/1996 (T109), Phil Mickelson/ 2002, 2004 (T6), Chad Campbell/2006 (T9), Charley Hoffman/2007 (T70), D.J. Trahan/2008 (T118), Bill Haas/2010, 2015 (T49), Jhonattan Vegas/2011 (T49), Mark Wilson/2012 (T145), Brian Gay/2013 (T108), Patrick Reed/2014 (T49) and Jason Dufner/2016 (T21).
Stadium Course 71.423 71.173
Nicklaus Tournament Course 70.327 70.365
La Quinta Country Club 70.154 69.731
R1 – Zac Blair (67), Steven Bowditch (70), Dominic Bozzelli (64), Keegan Bradley (69), Ryan Brehm (70), Stewart Cink (70), Bryson DeChambeau (70), Brian Gay (70), J.J. Henry (70), Charles Howell III (67), Michael Kim (66), Patton Kizzire (65), Bryce Molder (69), Geoff Ogilvy (67), Greg Owen (67), Scott Stallings (67) and Jhonattan Vegas (65).
R2 – Dominic Bozzelli (67), Bud Cauley (67), Jason Dufner (66), Kevin Kisner (69), Martin Laird (66), Danny Lee (64), Jon Rahm (66), Brendan Steele (64) and Hudson Swafford (65).