GOLF: Landry third in Texas Open after 67

Published 7:24 pm Friday, April 20, 2018

Andrew Landry is knocking on the door of serious PGA Tour success again, after a second round 67 Friday in the Valero Texas Open.

The Port Neches-Groves ex, playing in tougher afternoon conditions at the TPC San Antonio Oaks Course, is tied with Grayson Murray for third place at 136. They stand one stroke behind co-leaders Zach Johnson and Ryan Moore.

Johnson, twice a winner of the Valero before the tournament moved to its current location, jumped to the top of the leader on the wings of a seven-under-par 65.

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Landry, who has an outright second and a tie for fourth to his credit this year, took a bogey on his first hole of the day — the par 4, 10th — then made six birdies and 11 pars over the final 17 holes. He’s No. 1 in the field in greens hit in regulation (27 of 36) and tied for third in birdies with 11.

“I am playing well,” said Landry, who shot three rounds in the 60s last week at the RBC Heritage before a final round 75 sent him sliding down the leaderboard. “Everything is solid. I had a few bad holes last week, but I did not lose any confidence.

“I just feel really good about all aspects of my game, since taking the time off. I am driving well, chipping well and putting well. I like this golf course because it is a tough, gritty test.”

Landry had missed four consecutive cuts before taking six weeks off around the birth of his son. He said the time away from the game did him good, and that he came back refreshed and eager to play well again.

“After that second place finish in the CareerBuilder Challenge, I pushed myself really hard to try and win, he said.  “I got away from my game plan and it got me in trouble. Now I am back to doing the things I need to do to be successful.”

It didn’t take Landry long to offset his first-hole bogey on Friday. He bounced back on the par 4, 11th with a 6-foot birdie, got to one under with a 13-foot putt on the par 3, 13th, then added his third birdie of the day by sinking a 6-footer on the par 4, 17th. On the front nine, he had a tap in birdie on the par 5, 2nd, dropped a 5-footer on the par 4, fifth and rolled in a 15-footer on the par 4, eighth.

Since he posted a score before Murray, Landry should be in the final pairing Saturday with Johnson and Moore. Things are a bit up in the air for Saturday, however, with rain forecast for San Antonio.

“I think they are going to move the tee times up to try to beat the rain, or at least to get in as many holes as we can,” he advised.

Landry is the only one of three players with area ties who will be playing on the weekend. PNG ex Chris Stroud withdrew with a wrist injury after an opening 79 and Lamar ex Shawn Stefani missed the cut after rounds of 75-74.