GOLF: Stroud passes Landry in Players leaderboard

Published 8:03 pm Friday, May 11, 2018

Back-to-back balls into the water on the most birdied hole at TPC Sawgrass — the par 5, 16th — led to a double-bogey 7 and a three-over par 75 Friday that saw Andrew Landry go from challenging for the Players Championship lead to trailing fellow Pea Patch alumnus Chris Stroud by two strokes.

Stroud, on the strength of a second consecutive 70 that could have been much lower if he’d taken advantage of numerous makeable birdie putts, moved up six spots to a tie for 34th at 140. Landry tumbled from being tied for seventh to tied for 56th at 142.

Webb Simpson, who shot a blistering 63 despite making a double bogey at the treacherous par 3, 17th, is the 36-hole leader by five shots over Charl Schwartzel, Patrick Cantlay and Danny Lee. He stands at 15-under-par 127.

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Stroud birdied all four of the par 5s to offset bogeys at the 10th (his first hole of the day) and the 15th. On a day when he was No. 1 in the field in the strokes gained approach to green stat, he missed five birdie putts inside 15 feet. As a result, he was 115th in putts per greens in regulation.

Landry, meanwhile, was rolling along one under for the day and 7-under for the tournament through six holes. Only 217 yards from the pin after a booming drive on the 16th, he pushed a 5-iron second into the water, took a drop 143 yards from the pin, then saw a 9-iron take a terrible bounce and roll into the hazard.

Two putts later he walked away with a 7.

Landry wouldn’t make another birdie until his final hole of the day — the par 5, ninth. Bogeys at 18 and 3 preceded it.

“I’m disappointed because I don’t think I played that bad,” he said of the 75. “It was just one of those days where things didn’t go my way. I hit one bad shot on 16 and one unlucky shot. I did struggle a little with my irons, with a shut to open face.

“The thing is there are still 36 holes to play and a lot of things can happen. The golf course is going to play so much harder Saturday and Sunday. You are not going to see all those low scores. They are going to firm up the greens and really bake out this place.

“I am looking for a good weekend and having some fun,” Landry continued. “I
worked things out on the range and expect to play really well. If I can shoot two 68s, I will moved way up the leaderboard.”

Television coverage of the third round begins at 1 p.m. Saturday on NBC (KJAC-12.2). Stroud and Landry will be deep into their rounds before the TV lights come on.