2014 Quicken Loans National (The 33rd of 41 events in the PGA TOUR Season), Bethesda, Md., June 23 – 29, 2014; FedExCup Points: 500 to the winner; Congressional Country Club, Par/Yardage: 36-35—71/7,569; Purse: $6,500,000 ($1,170,000) – Second-Round Notes – Friday, June 27, 2014

Ricky Barnes (pictured by Getty Images)

Making his sixth consecutive start at the Quicken Loans National, Ricky Barnes will take an overnight lead/co-lead for just the fourth time in his PGA TOUR career. He held a share of the first-round lead at the 2013 Zurich Classic of New Orleans, before finishing T42. He also held at least a share of the lead after the second and third round of the 2009 U.S. Open, which resulted in T2 honors with David Duval and Phil Mickelson.

Before this week, Barnes’ lowest score in 20 rounds at the Quicken Loans National was 68. In each round so far this week, he has gone lower.

Barnes is making his 21st start of the 2013-14 PGA TOUR Season, with his lone top-10 finish being a T10 at the Puerto Rico Open in March. Barnes is coming off a T46 finish at last week’s Travelers Championship.

Barnes made a return trip to the PGA TOUR this season by virtue of his 33rd-place finish on last year’s Tour priority list.

In round two, Barnes hit 8/14 fairways in regulation (57.1 percent) and just 10/18 greens (55.6 percent). He needed 25 putts to complete his round, five fewer than in round one.

Marc Leishman

Following a 1-under 70, Australia’s Marc Leishman came on strong Friday with five birdies and no bogeys. His 66 in round two represents his best score in 18 rounds in the event. This is Leishman’s sixth consecutive start in the Quicken Loans National, with a best finish being T7 in 2010. He missed last year’s cut, following rounds of 75-71.

Leishman is looking to join Jason Day (World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship), John Senden (Valspar Championship), Steven Bowditch (Valero Texas Open), Matt Jones (Shell Houston Open) and Adam Scott (Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial) as players from Australia to win on the PGA TOUR this year.

Leishman is making his 17th start of the season and looking to add a fourth top-10 finish to his year. In his third and fourth starts of the season, Leishman finished fifth and T2 at the Sony Open in Hawaii and Farmers Insurance Open, respectively. Most recently, he finished T3 at the HP Byron Nelson Championship, and is coming off a T11 finish at last week’s Travelers Championship. Leishman’s lone win on the PGA TOUR came at the 2012 Travelers Championship.

Although he found just 50 percent of the 14 fairways in round two, Leishman missed just three greens (83.3 percent). For the second straight day, he has needed 29 putts to complete his round.

Before this week, the only time Leishman has held an overnight lead/co-lead was after round one of the 2013 Masters. He finished T4.

Oliver Goss

In just his second start as a professional and fourth overall on the PGA TOUR, University of Tennessee’s Oliver Goss followed fellow countryman Marc Leishman’s lead exactly by following a 1-under 70 in round one with a bogey-free, 5-under 66 in round two. In his first professional start, Goss missed the cut at last week’s Travelers Championship, after rounds of 70-71.

Goss finished as the runner-up in the 2013 U.S. Amateur at The Country Club in Brookline, Mass. His runner-up finish earned him an invitation to the 2014 Masters, where he was awarded the Silver Cup for finishing as the low amateur (finished 49th in the tournament). Goss also competed in the U.S. Open two weeks ago, but missed the cut (71-83).

In 2013, Goss’ performance earned him spots on the All-Amateur First Team and the All-SEC First Team. In just two seasons at the University of Tennessee, Goss compiled a 71.88 stroke average in 19 tournaments while winning two of them.

Goss struggled off the tee in round two, hitting just 4/14 (28.6 percent). He found nine in round one (64.3 percent). Goss has found 14/18 greens in regulation in each of the first two rounds (77.8 percent).

With a win, Goss would become the first player to make the Quicken Loans National his first PGA TOUR win.

Patrick Reed

In his only other start at the Quicken Loans National, Patrick Reed finished T34 in 2013, following rounds of 76-64-74-71—285. His 64 in round two last year is one stroke shy of his career-low round.

Beginning on No. 10, Reed birdied three of his final five holes (Nos. 5, 6 and 8) en route to the second consecutive 68.

Making his 19th start of the 2013-14 PGA TOUR Season, Reed has already claimed victories at the Humana Challenge and World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship. Since his win at Doral, he has struggled and missed the cut in five of his ensuing eight starts. With a win this week, he would join Jimmy Walker as a three-time champion this season.

In 26 rounds now since his win in Florida, he has broken par just four times. His 68s in rounds one and two at Congressional CC are his lowest scores since posting a third consecutive, 9-under 63 in round three of the Humana Challenge.

This marks Reed’s fifth 36-hole lead/co-led on the PGA TOUR. Of the previous four, the only one that didn’t result in victory was the 2013 John Deere Classic (T7).

The only other time four players shared the 36-hole lead on the PGA TOUR this year was at the WGC-Cadillac Championship, where Reed was among those leaders (Dustin Johnson, Matt Kuchar and Hunter Mahan).

Second-Round Lead Information

Last year, Roberto Castro and Jordan Spieth shared the 36-hole lead at 7-under 135.

K.J. Choi (2007), Tiger Woods (2009) and Justin Rose (2010) are the event’s 36-hole leaders/co-leaders who’ve managed to convert for the win at the Quicken Loans National.

So far this year, 14/31 leaders/co-leaders after 36 holes have converted for the win, most recently Martin Kaymer at the U.S. Open.

Hudson Swafford

As the last man in the field when William McGirt withdrew Wednesday, Hudson Swafford is capitalizing on the opportunity. Following a 2-under 69 in round one, the PGA TOUR rookie posted a 68 in Friday’s second round. At 5-under, he will begin the weekend one stroke off the lead.

Swafford made his way onto the PGA TOUR in 2013-14 by virtue of his 21st-place finish on the 2013 Tour priority list. On that Tour last year, he amassed eight top-25 finishes, three of which were inside the top 10.

Swafford is making his 21st start of the season this week, and comes to Congressional CC on the heels of seven missed cuts in his last nine starts. He finished T24 at last week’s Travelers Championship. His lone top-10 finish of the season is a T8 at the Sony Open in Hawaii.

Historically, second rounds have proven toughest for Swafford. His second-round scoring average coming into the week was 72.95, more than two strokes higher than any other round.

With a win this week, Swafford would become the first player to make the Quicken Loans National his first PGA TOUR win. It would also make him the 10th first-time winner on TOUR this season, and second rookie (Chesson Hadley/Puerto Rico Open). Additionally, he would be the sixth product of University of Georgia to win this season.

Tiger Woods

Unable to turn things around, Tiger Woods could manage no better than 74-75 in his first 36 holes back after back surgery. As a result, Woods missed the 10th cut of his career in his 299th professional start on the PGA TOUR:

1997 Canadian Open

2005 HP Byron Nelson Championship

2005 Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Classic

2006 U.S. Open

2009 British Open

2010 Wells Fargo Championship

2011 PGA Championship

2012 Wells Fargo Championship

2012 The Greenbrier Classic

2014 Quicken Loans National

Woods made four consecutive bogeys on hole Nos. 11-14. The last time he battled a worse stretch was earlier this year in round three at the Farmers Insurance Open. Beginning on No. 10, he followed double bogeys at 18 and 1 with bogeys on Nos. 2-6 to shoot 79.

Woods’ worst opening 36-hole score in relation to par in a PGA TOUR event with a cut is 9-over 153. At the 2010 Wells Fargo Championship, he missed the cut by eight strokes after rounds of 74-79. At the 1998 TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola, Woods opened in 11-over 151 (75-76), though there was no cut (finished 20th).

Woods rounds at a glance:

R1 R2

Fairways 9/14 (64.3 percent) 7/14 (50 percent)

Greens 10/18 (55.6 percent) 10/18 (55.6 percent)

Sand Saves 0/2 0/1

Putts 31 30

Miscellaneous Notes

Each Quicken Loans National past champion is in this week’s field, with the exception of 2008 winner Anthony Kim. Here’s a look at where those past champions stand through 36 holes: Bill Haas/2013 (T13), K.J. Choi/2007 (T21), Nick Watney/2011 (T50) Tiger Woods/2009, 2012 (MC) and Justin Rose/2010 (T11).

Open Championship Qualifying Series (OQS)

The Open Qualifying Series (OQS) is new international qualifying series involving events on the world’s leading golf tours. It is being introduced for The Open Championship which takes place at Royal Liverpool (Hoylake) July 13-20.
The Open Qualifying Series will comprise 14 events in nine countries on five continents and will offer players the opportunity to qualify for golf’s oldest major championship at events on the PGA TOUR, the European Tour, the PGA Tour of Australasia and the Japan Golf Tour.
Players on the PGA TOUR have the chance to qualify at three events: this week’s Quicken Loans National, The Greenbrier Classic and John Deere Classic. The top four players, not previously eligible, that finish among the top 12 (and ties) at the Quicken Loans National and The Greenbrier Classic will earn entry into The Open Championship. The top player among the top five (and ties) at the John Deere Classic will also qualify.

There are 26 players in this week’s Quicken Loans National already scheduled to appear in The Open Championship in two weeks.

In honor of its inaugural year as title sponsor of the Quicken Loans National, Quicken Loans will reward one lucky spectator $1 million if a player aces the 10th hole. An additional $25,000 will be donated to the charity of the player’s choice. In rounds one and two, Arjun Atwal came close. In round one, Atwal hit it to 3’ 5”. In today’s second round, his tee shot hit the pin and stopped just 4’ away. He sank both putts for birdie, but after 2-over 73s both days, he missed the cut.

Following the Quicken Loans National, the company will continue its hole-in-one promotion by awarding a year’s worth of mortgage payments to a randomly selected entrant for each ace made during official PGA TOUR events in the 2014 calendar year. Throughout the sweepstakes, and regardless of how many hole-in-ones are made, Quicken Loans will also randomly select a total of 10 entrants per month, July through December, to receive a monthly mortgage payment on their home.

R2 Morning scoring average: 71.58

R2 Afternoon scoring average: 72.50

Congressional CC’s most-difficult hole in the second round was the par-4 18th, yielding an average of 4.425. The easiest hole was the par-4 eighth hole, averaging 3.700.

Bogey-free rounds:

R1: None

R2: Justin Rose (65), Oliver Goss (66), Marc Leishman (66), Billy Horschel (68)

Scoring Averages at the par-71 Congressional Country Club:

Front 9 Back 9 Total Cumulative

R1: 36.192 36.167 72.358 –

R2: 35.818 36.183 72.042 72.200

Weather: Partly cloudy, with a high of 85 degrees. Winds E/SE 8-15 mph.

Cut: 75 players at 3-over 145 from a field of 120 professionals

Second-Round Golf Leaderboard:-

Ricky Barnes 67-69—136 (-6)

Oliver Goss 70-66—136 (-6)

Marc Leishman 70-66—136 (-6)

Patrick Reed 68-68—136 (-6)

Source: PGA Tour


Graham J Gordon, The Editor and Owner, GolfblogspotUK

The GolfblogspotUK website is owned and run by former Walker Cup player and European Tour card holder, Graham J Gordon, from Scotland, the Home of Golf. The owner is a golf fanatic who had to retire early from competitive tour play due to a back injury that required surgery. Graham wishes to share his knowledge and own experiences of the game with the GolfblogspotUK community and to receive your feedback on all aspects of the sport. Graham has been playing the game for over 20 years and received a great deal of pleasure from the sport. He has met several friends and visited many different places around the world, thanks to playing the great game of golf. Time to put a little back into the game to help others.

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