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Blixt Shoots Second Straight 64


Jonas Blixt of Sweden carded his second consecutive 7-under 64 to rise to the top of the leaderboard in the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. The $4.5 million PGA Tour event began Thursday in Las Vegas.

The 28-year-old, who attended college at Florida State, posted three birdies, an eagle on the par-4 seventh hole and a bogey to make the turn at 4-under 31. Blixt then had five birdies and a double-bogey on the par-3 17th to reach 14-under 128, one stroke ahead of first-round leader Ryan Moore, who followed up his opening 61 with a 68 Friday.

Blixt credited his fine play in the first two rounds to having his family with him this week in Nevada. "I think it's a lot of things that makes me play well this week," he said. "I got my family in town, my brother and my sister, a couple friends from overseas, which makes it really relaxed. We're renting a house together and just having a good time. I don't think about golf at all coming off the golf course. Just hang out with them. It's easy to think about something else when you're in Las Vegas, right?" (See below for his full post-round interview.)

Brendon de Jonge of South Africa was also at 14-under par, but still had two holes to go as this story was posted.

Tim Herron had a 68 and is at 131, while Vijay Singh (66), John Daly (63), Nick Watney (66), Chris Kirk (68) and John Huh (69) were at 132.

Defending champion Kevin moved up the leaderboard after a 66 to get to 134. "Kind of got myself back in it," said Na, a Las Vegas resident. "Tough challenge today, five birdies, no bogeys. I feel like I left a few out there, but on this course it's easy to do. Overall, 8 under par is not too bad."

Daly was also pleased with his play. "Today I hit the ball really well and I putted good the last two days, which is good for me. The greens are rolling really good, so it gives you an opportunity. If you hit it think decent, you can make some putts."

Davis Love III followed up his opening 68 with a 67. The 2012 U.S. Ryder Cup team captain is glad to get back to the golf course. "It's good to get back to playing," said the 48-year-old. "It distracts me for four, five hours a day from thinking about last week. I've got a lot of great memories from last week, and when I get by myself I start second guessing and start wishing that we would done something a little different and could've gotten those guys a win."

With several players still to complete their second rounds, the projected 36-hole cut was set at 4-under 138. For updated scores, visit http://www.pgatour.com/r/leaderboard.

After signing his scorecard, Blixt met with reporters and discussed his day.

JONAS BLIXT: I try not change my equipment, but I changed my irons because they were getting worn out. It didn't really match my game that well, so I was struggling up to April. I switched back to my old irons and started playing really well after that. I got to give credit to my new swing coach as well in Jacksonville. He's got kind of a plan for me that he's been working out too. I played well for like a month and a half, and I then I got hurt. I got a rib injury and I was gone for two months.

Q. Was that from practice or competition?

JONAS BLIXT: My body wasn't really used to the release I was doing, and that's what we think made me put more pressure on my ribs on the right side. Nothing was cracked. Nothing was torn. Just had to grow into place so it would fit my body and my swing better. So now I'm good, I'm back, and I have no issues.

Q. I was about to ask you if you were having any issues.

JONAS BLIXT: No. Not anymore, no.

Q. Do you feel it's just a timing thing? Maybe you got your rhythm back in week? You had been off a few weeks.

JONAS BLIXT: I think it's a lot of things that makes me play well this week. I got my family in town, my brother and my sister, a couple friends from overseas, which makes it really relaxed. We're renting a house together and just having a good time. I don't think about golf at all coming off the golf course. Just hang out with them. It's easy to think about something else when you're in Las Vegas, right?

Q. Do anything is town? Saw a show? Go out to dinner? Shop?

JONAS BLIXT: Yeah, we're going shopping after this.

Q. Where to?

JONAS BLIXT: Well, we're going to the Puma store. I'm going to hook my friends up with some Puma gear. They are very nice to me and my friends.

Q. Is that at the outlet mall?

JONAS BLIXT: I think so. I'm not sure where it is yet. They make the plans and I tag along. It's kind of nice. Then we're going to the pool, too. I can't reveal that to you.

Q. You're going where?

JONAS BLIXT: To a pool.

Q. Where you staying?

JONAS BLIXT: I can't tell you. (Laughter.)

Q. (No microphone.)

JONAS BLIXT: You can miss it a little bit when the greens are really pure. It's not the longest course on the earth either, so it's a little tricky. I like when a golf course has character to it and not just long.

Q. So you're able to think your way around it. You've made pretty good club selection so far.

JONAS BLIXT: Yeah, yeah, absolutely. I think I have a good relationship with my caddie, Williams, and we maneuver the ball pretty well around golf courses.

Q. What would it mean for you personally to come out on top here?

JONAS BLIXT: This is what we practice for and dream about. It would be a boost in my career as well.

Q. Would it change your life if you win?

JONAS BLIXT: Not really. I might get into some more tournaments.

MODERATOR: Hawaii.

JONAS BLIXT: Yeah, exactly. Yeah, might not stay at home for that long during Christmas. Not really. I play golf for a living. Trying to be just me off the golf course.

Q. I read in your bio you're a big hockey fan. Is there anyone from Sweden that you're a big fan of?

JONAS BLIXT: My favorite player of all time was Peter Forsberg. It was sad that he had to quit that early, but it was a lot fun watching him. There are a bunch new Swedish players coming up. I'm excited for the Swedish national team in a couple years. They have a lot of young, good players, and they're going to be hard to beat.

Q. You played when you were young?

JONAS BLIXT: Yeah.

Q. Why didn't you stay with hockey?

JONAS BLIXT: I played too much golf. I wasn't big enough and not good enough. I played until I was 18. I think it's good for anyone, youngsters, to do a lot of sports. You get to like work out, and I got stronger through hockey and it helped me in my golf game.

Q. Can you see a correlation between the two in terms of hand eye coordination?

JONAS BLIXT: Absolutely. I mean, it's kind of the same way you're swinging a golf club. I got some drills where I use my golf club like a hockey club. It makes it a little easier. You try not to make it too stationary when you play golf, so...

The transcript for the above interview is courtesy of ASAP Sports.