Sun, Apr 29, 2012 - Page 18 News List

Dufner seizes Zurich Classic lead

AFP, NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA

Jason Dufner lines up a putt on the 11th hole in the second round of the Zurich Classic on Friday at TPC Louisiana in Avondale, Louisiana.

Photo: AFP

Jason Dufner rolled in a 30-foot eagle putt at the 18th hole on Friday to cap a seven-under 65 and take a one-shot lead after two rounds of the USPGA Tour Zurich Classic.

Dufner, seeking to break through for a first US tour title, also had five birdies in his bogey-free effort at TPC Louisiana and took a 12-under total of 132 into the weekend.

“I had just a really good number for my five-wood to get somewhere on that green, and had a putt that was down grain and breaking to the left with the grain, so that was a nice way to finish the day,” Dufner said of his eagle at the last, which left him one shot in front of Scotland’s Russell Knox, John Rollins and Ken Duke.

Knox matched the course record with a 64, Rollins a 66 and overnight co-leader Duke a 68 for 133.

Australian Greg Chalmers holed out from 137 yards for an eagle on the par-four first en route to his 64, which saw him join South African Ernie Els (68) and Steve Stricker (68) on 134.

Defending champion Bubba Watson, making his first start since winning his first major title at the Masters, posted his second straight 71 to make the cut by a stroke.

Watson’s round included an eagle at the seventh and hitting a spectator in the head with a hooked drive. He admitted that he has yet to regain his concentration after taking a fortnight off in the wake of his Masters triumph.

World No. 2 Luke Donald of England bounced back after a disappointing first-round 73 with a 65 for 138.

Donald also holed out from the fairway at the first hole.

Dufner launched his round with a three-foot birdie at the first. He birdied three in a row from the fifth and added another at the par-five 11th.

Dufner has led or held a share of the lead after 36 holes at two of his last four tournaments, including the Masters.

However, he has yet to close the deal.

Knox, a graduate of the Nationwide developmental tour who is making his ninth PGA Tour start, had seven birdies and an eagle at 18 with one bogey.

US veteran Stricker pulled level with Dufner with four straight birdies from the seventh, but missed a birdie putt at 11 and gave back two strokes with bogeys coming in.

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