Second-Round Notes – Friday, May 26, 2017

Weather: Sunny, warm and windy. Wind SW 15-20 mph, gusting to 25 mph. High of 98.

36-Hole Cut
72 players at 4-over 144 from a field of 121 professionals. The highest since it was 144 in 1999. The highest ever was 1971 & 1973 when it was 8-over 148.

Second-Round Leaderboard
Webb Simpson             68-66—134 (-6)
Kevin Kisner                 67-67—134 (-6)
Danny Lee                   70-64—134 (-6)
Scott Piercy                  68-66—134 (-6)
Paul Casey                  69-66—135 (-5)
Sergio Garcia               69-66—135 (-5)
Jon Rahm                    66-69—135 (-5)
Sean O’Hair                 67-68—135 (-5)

The four-way tie for the 36-hole lead set a new tournament record for the DEAN& DELUCA Inviational. Three players were tied for the lead after the second round four previosu times(1970, 1987, 1988 & 1997). This season, only the Masters had a four-wat tie before Friday.

Webb Simpson

Webb Simpson closed out his second round with three straight birdies and carded a 4-under 66 to finish 36 holes at 6-under-par 134.

Simpson is making his fourth start at the DEAN & DELUCA Invitational, having missed the cut in his first two appearances (2009 and 2010) before a breakthrough in 2016 (T3).

Simpson has led/co-led after the second round seven previous times in his PGA TOUR career. The last time he held a share of the 36-hole lead was in this event last year. He posted 67-68 on the weekend and finished T3. His lone win after holding the lead/co-lead at the midway point came at the 2013 Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.

Simpson’s third-round scoring average is 69.45.

Simpson is currently No. 37 in the FedExCup standings. He has made an appearance in the FedExCup Playoffs eight straight years since becoming a member in 2009.

Simpson has won for times on TOUR (2011 – Wyndham Championship, Dell Technologies Championship; 2012 – U.S. Open; 2014 – Shriners Hospitals for Children Open).

Kevin Kisner
After missing the cut in his first appearance (2014) at the DEAN & DELUCA Invitational, Kevin Kisner has recorded a T5 (2015) and a T10 (2016), respectively. Kisner followed up a first-round 67 with a gutsy 3-under 67 on Friday afternoon in adverse conditions to tie three others for the second-round lead.

Kisner’s 6-under-par 134 total through 36 holes is two better than his previous best opening two-round total at Colonial CC (-4/136/2015).

The only other time Kisner has led/co-led after 36 holes of a TOUR event was the 2015 World Golf Championships – HSBC Champions where he held a two-stroke advantage over eventual champion Russell Knox heading into the weekend. Kisner carded 70-70 over the final 36 holes for a solo second. His lone TOUR victory came two weeks later at the 2015 RSM Classic where he trailed the leader by one after 36 holes and carded 64-64 for a six-stroke triumph.

A few weeks ago, Kisner paired up with fellow South Carolinian Scott Brown at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans and lost in a playoff to the duo of Cameron Smith and Jonas Blixt. Kisner has recorded two runner-up performances this season and is currently No. 17 in the FedExCup standings.

Kisner’s third-round scoring average this season is 68.58

Danny Lee
Danny Lee birdied holes 16-18 for a second-round 6-under 64, his lowest round in 18 trips around Colonial CC. This week marks Lee’s fifth appearance at the DEAN & DELUCA Invitational where he has competed on the weekend each time. His best showing in Fort Worth came in 2015 (T10).

Friday marks the first time Lee has led/co-led after 36 holes of a TOUR event.

In 19 starts this season, Lee has made 11 cuts and posted one top-10 (T5 – AT&T Byron Nelson). He entered the week No. 103 in the FedExCup Standings.

Lee’s inaugural TOUR win came at the Greenbrier Classic (2015), where he trailed by a shot heading into the weekend.

Scott Piercy
Scott Piercy birdied the par-3 eighth on his second nine and parred the ninth for a 4-under 66 in the second round. Piercy only hit five greens coming in but made critical par saves coming down the stretch to keep his card bogey free coming in.

Piercy is making his sixth start at the DEAN & DELUCA Invitational with his best finish coming in 2013 (T26). Before a 78 in the third round last year, Piercy’s worst score at Colonial CC was a 71 (R4 – 2015, R1 – 2016).

This season, Piercy has posted three top-10s in 12 starts and arrived in Fort Worth No. 64 in the FedExCup stnadings.

Piercy has held the 36-hole lead/co-lead twice in his career on TOUR. He converted the second-round co-lead into a victory at the 2012 RBC Canadian Open where he posted 67-67 on the weekend.

Piercy has won three times on TOUR in 232 career starts (2011 Barracuda Championship, 2012 RBC Canadian Open, 2015 Barbasol Championship).

Second-Round Leader Stats
The lowest 36-hole score at the DEAN & DELUCA Invitational is 16-under 124 (David Toms/2011).

Last year, Webb Simpson and Dallas native Martin Piller shared the 36-hole lead at 8-under-par. Eventual champion Jordan Spieth was T3 and one back heading into the weekend.

In the previous 69 playings of the DEAN & DELUCA Invitational, the second-round leader/co-leader has gone on to win 23 times.

The second-round leader/co-leader has won just 12 of 27 stroke-play events this season, most recently Sergio Garcia at the Masters Tournament.

Paul Casey
Englishmen Paul Casey made five birdies and one bogey en route to a second-round 4-under-par 66. Casey is one back of the four co-leaders heading into the weekend.

Casey is making his fifth start at the DEAN & DELUCA Invitational this week and looks to improve on his best performance, a solo fifth, in 2009.

In 14 starts this season, Casey has recorded nine top-25s with his best showing coming at the Safeway Open (T3).

At the 2009 Shell Houston Open, Casey defeated J.B. Holmes in a playoff for his maiden TOUR win. After 36 holes, he was in a four-way tie for the lead and carded 69-72 to force overtime.

Casey’s third-round scoring average at Colonial CC is 67.00. In six attempts, Casey has never carded a round over par on the weekend in Fort Worth.

Sergio Garcia
2017 Masters Tournament champion Sergio Garcia followed up a 1-under 69 on Thursday with a second round 4-under 66 in his eighth career start at the DEAN & DELUCA Invitational, but first since finishing T13 in 2012. The Spaniard won the first of his 10 PGA TOUR titles at the 2001 DEAN & DELUCA Invitational.

Garcia has only led/co-led after 36 holes twice in his 10 victories on TOUR (2001 Buick Classic, 2017 Masters).

Garcia’s third-round scoring average in his eight 36-hole come-from-behind victories is 67.50. His third-round scoring average at Colonial CC is 69.25.

Garcia (2001) is the last player to win the Colonial in his first start. The others: Keith Clearwater (1987), Dave Stockton (1967), Clayton Heafner (1948) and Ben Hogan (1946).

Garcia is one of seven players who recorded their first TOUR victory at the DEAN & DELUCA Invitational: Roberto De Vicenzo (1957), Dave Stockton (1967), Rod Curl (1974), Dan Pohl (1986), Keith Clearwater (1987), Ian Baker-Finch (1989), Garcia (2001).

Jon Rahm
Two-time Hogan Award winner (given annually onsite Monday of tournament week at the DEAN & DELUCA Invitational) Jon Rahm posted a 36-hole total of 5-under-par 135 after a second-round 1-under 69. Rahm is just one back heading into the third round.

Rahm currently sits No. 4 in the FedExCup standings, with six top-10 finishes in 13 prior starts this season. In addition to his win at the Farmers Insurance Open, he collected a runner-up finish at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play Championship and T3 at the WGC-Mexico Championship.

Rahm trailed by five strokes after 36 holes of the Farmers Insurance Open in February and carded 69-65 for a three-stroke victory. Rahm is looking to join fellow Spaniard Sergio Garcia on the list of players to win the DEAN & DELUCA Invitational in their first appearance.

Jordan Spieth
Dallas native and defending DEAN & DELUCA Invitational champion Jordan Spieth (currently No. 7 in the FedExCup standings) carded a second-nine 4-under 31 to erase a two-over front-side and get into red numbers heading into the weekend. Spieth’s 2-under-par 138 total places him four back after 36 holes in his bid to join Ben Hogan as the only players to win back-to-back DEAN & DELUCA Invitational, with Hogan performing the feat twice (1946-47 and 1952-53). Spieth started his second round with three bogeys in his first five holes before making five birdies coming in.

Spieth is making his fifth start at the DEAN & DELUCA Invitational. Thursday marked the first time he has failed to open this events with a round in the 60s: (65-2013, 67-2014, 64-2015, 67-2016, 70-2017). His first-round 70 snapped a streak of six consecutive rounds in the 60s at the par-70 Colonial Country Club (2015: 64-73-67-65, 2016: 67-66-65-66).

Spieth’s record at Colonial includes four top-15 finishes in as many starts (Won-2016, T2-2015, T14-2014, T7-2013).

In 2015, Spieth became the youngest winner of the FedExCup and of the TOUR Championship (22 years, 2 months).

Phil Mickelson
Two-time DEAN & DELUCA Invitational champion Phil Mickelson (2000, 2008) struggled on Friday and carded a 5-over 75. Mickelson posted his highest round at Colonial CC since a first-round 78 in 1998.

In all, Mickelson owns eight top-25 finishes in 14 prior starts at the event. In addition to his two wins, he owns additional top-10 finishes in 2001 (T2) and 1994 (8th).

Mickelson is one of 12 multiple winners of the DEAN & DELUCA Invitational. Ben Hogan leads with five wins, with two-time winners Billy Casper, Julius Boros, Al Geiberger, Ben Crenshaw, Bruce Lietzke, Lee Trevino, Corey Pavin, Nick Price, Kenny Perry, Zach Johnson and Mickelson.

Mickelson is currently No. 43 in the FedExCup standings. A year ago, he finished No. 16 in the standings, marking the eighth time in 10 years he has advanced to the TOUR Championship. His highest finish was second in 2009.

Additional Player Notes

12-time PGA TOUR winner Zach Johnson has finished outside the top 30 just once in 11 prior starts at the DEAN & DELUCA Invitational, including five top-10 finishes: T17-2016, T19-2015, T73-2014, 3-2013, 1-2012, 4-2011, 1-2010, T9-2009, T30-2006, T26-2005, T14-2004. He stands x after rounds of 67-75.

In his third appearance at the DEAN& DELUCA Invitational, long-hitting Tony Finau posted a flawless second-round 5-under-par 65 in blustery conditions to move into red numbers. After an opening 2-over 72, Finau is now 3-under-par for the tournament.

In his maiden TOUR win at the Puerto Rico Open in 2016, Finau trailed by four strokes after 36 holes and carded 67-70 on the weekend to force a playoff with Steve Marino. The duo matched birdies on the first two extra holes, both at the par-5 18th. Marino was unable to match Finau’s third straight birdie in overtime.

With the win in 2015, Chris Kirk became the first player to win the Ben Hogan Award (2007) and DEAN & DELUCA Invitational. The Ben Hogan Award annually recognizes an amateur player who combines academic excellence with an equally respectable amateur golf pedigree and is awarded each year at Colonial Country Club. Kirk made his eighth start at the Colonial this week and is currently 1-under-par (T20). He owns top-15 finishes in four of his last five starts at the DEAN & DELUCA Invitational.

Ryan Palmer, who plays out of Colonial Country Club, has finished inside the top 15 four out of his last five starts at the DEAN & DELUCA Invitational (T3-2016, MC-2015, T5-2014, T14-2013, T5-2012). He sits T45 at 2-over-par heading into Saturday’s third round.

2009 DEAN & DELUCA Invitational champion Steve Stricker, who will serve as the Captain of the U.S. Presidents Cup team later this season, carded 72-71 and is T61 after 36 holes in his 11th start at Colonial.

Every year, past champions of the DEAN & DELUCA Invitational select two deserving young players to compete in the event, who otherwise would not have been eligible. Here’s a look at how this year’s recipients stand after 36 holes: Beau Hossler (CUT) and Jamie Sadlowski (CUT).

Miscellaneous Notes

Past DEAN & DELUCA Invitational champions in the field: Phil Mickelson (T45), Zach Johnson (T45), Sergio Garcia (T5), Chris Kirk (T20), Jordan Spieth (T11), Steve Stricker (T61), Keith Clearwater (CUT), Boo Weekley (CUT), Rory Sabbatini (CUT), Tim Herron (CUT).

Bogey-free rounds:
R1: Kelly Kraft (65), Graeme McDowell (66)
R2: Bud Cauley (66)

Colonial CC shows its teeth over the stretch of holes from Nos. 3-5, known as the “Horrible Horseshoe.” During the second round, the holes played as the sixth toughest (4.161), the 13th most difficult (3.051) and the second toughest (4.390), respectively.

Round One: Morning Scoring Average (70.49) vs. Afternoon Scoring Average (72.67).
Round Two: Morning Scoring Average (72.14) vs. Afternoon Scoring Average (71.36).

The par-3 13th hole played the toughest on day two with a 3.441 average. The par-5 first hole played the easiest at 4.627.

Scoring Averages at the par-70 Colonial Country Club:

                        Front 9             Back 9             Total                Cumulative
Thursday          35.661             35.909             71.570             —
Friday               35.661             35.909             71.737             71.654

J.J. Spaun withdrew before the start of the second round.

Camilo Villegas withdrew during the second round.