The first page of the Greenbrier Classic leaderboard is filled with golfers who’ll get to do something they’re unaccustomed to lately: playing on the weekend.
Matt Every shot an 8-under-par 62 on Friday for a one-stroke lead over five players midway through the tournament on the Old White TPC course in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va.
Every needed just 26 putts during his bogey-free round – his best of the year – and is at 9 under.
“I played really well tee to green, finally made some putts,” Every said. “I haven’t made anything all year, and it just finally happened today. Been waiting for it.”
Every has been in this position before, leading after the first round of the 2012 Texas Open and tying for the third-round lead at the 2012 Sony Open, yet the 29-year-old is still looking for his first PGA Tour victory.
“I know I can win out here,” he said.
One stroke behind him at 8 under are Russell Henley (65), Bill Lunde (66), Daniel Summerhays (67), Steven Bowditch (67) and first-round co-leader Johnson Wagner (70).
Four others are two shots behind at 7 under. Ben Curtis and Greg Owen each shot 66, Jonas Blixt had a 67, and first-round co-leader Tommy Gainey a 71.
The posh Greenbrier resort is named for its hot spring waters that the locals have touted for centuries for their healing qualities. It seems as though the Greenbrier Classic is doing wonders for some golfers, too.
Prior to this week, Wagner went seven straight events without advancing to the third round. Other streaks that were broken this week were five straight for Lunde, four for Bowditch and three for Summerhays.
Every had missed four of the last five cuts, and Owen and Curtis three of their last four. Gainey made the cut for only the 10th time in 23 tries.
“It’s coming down to the end of the year,” Every said. “It’s a big week for a lot of people. If you play good, it can change your life.”
Others advancing include Kenny Perry at 5 under and Tom Watson at 3 under.
Because 81 players made the cut at 1 under, there will be a 54-hole cut to get to the top 70 scores, plus ties.
Phil Mickelson is already assured of getting the weekend off. He shot 68 on Friday and finished at 2 over.
It marked the first time in his career that Mickelson missed three consecutive cuts at one tournament. He blamed his lackluster showings at the Greenbrier Classic on estimating distances with his iron shots.
“They end up not just a yard or two off from where I figure, but they’re 10 or 12 yards off from where I figure,” he said.
John Daly also won’t be playing the weekend. He withdrew at 7 over after playing just three holes Friday and tweeted later that he will have elbow surgery next week and would be away from golf for up to four months.
PARAGUAYAN IN LEAD
Fabrizio Zanotti of Paraguay shot a 3-under 68 to lead by one stroke after the second round of the French Open in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, France.
Zanotti made four birdies and a bogey on his way to a 6-under 136. South African Richard Sterne (69) and the Danish pair Thomas Bjorn (69) and Soren Kjeldsen (68) are one stroke back.