Glover Now Sets Pace at Zurich Classic


Former U.S. Open champion Lucas Glover followed up his opening 7-under 65 with a 67 to take the halfway lead in the Zurich Classic of New Orleans. The $6.6 million PGA Tour event began Thursday at TPC Louisiana in Avondale.

Glover, a 33-year-old who won the 2009 U.S. Open at Bethpage Black, carded eight birdies and three bogeys Friday to reach 12-under 132. The South Carolinian is looking for his first - and fourth overall - Tour title since the 2011 Wells Fargo Championship. He's been struggling recently - with three missed cuts in his past four starts.

"Ball-striking wise, I've been where I'm used to being," Glover told PGATour.com. "But I don't know that I've ever putted like I have the past two days, so I don't know if I can say I'm back because I've never been there. It changes every weekend.

"But it's been good. I've made a little adjustment with my setup - a little more stable on my left side, a little more weight left. Did I see this coming? Yeah, it was just one of those things where I had to get the putter straightened out."

Boo Weekley had a 68 and is a stroke back at 133. The folksy 39-year-old from Milton, Fla., is looking add a third Tour victory to his resume; his other two came in the 2007 and '08 Verizon Heritage at Harbout Links.

D.A. Points (68) is in solo third at 10-under 134, while three strokes behind Glover is Morgan Hoffman (69). World Golf Hall of Fame member Ernie Els had his second straight fine round, posting 67 and 69 to get to 9-under 136.

"I like the course," the appropriately named the "Big Easy" told PGATour.com. "I obviously played well here last year, and I'm just trying to set that same game plan and really wait for the course to come to me."

Perhaps more importantly to Els, Zurich Classic officials have designated Saturday as "Blue Out'' day in homage to Autism Awareness month; Els and his wife's son, Ben, suffers from autism.

"Since Leizl and I announced that our son Ben was touched by autism five years ago, we have been blown away by the support we have received, especially from the golf community," he told PGA Tour.com. "We are extremely touched by this support from the Zurich Classic whose team is helping our efforts to use golf as a platform to shine a light on autism."

Tied for sixth are two veterans - 46-year-old Jerry Kelly and 49-year-old Jeff Maggert, who each shot 67s, Bobby Gates (70) and two Brits, Brian Davis and Justin Rose, who both carded 69s.

Fourteen players - including 2011 Zurich Classic winner Bubba Watson, who shot Friday's low round of 7-under 65 - share 11th at 6-under 138.

Defending champion Jason Dufner followed up his opening 70 with a 71 and is tied for 53rd at 141.

First-round leader, Ricky Barnes, had a tough outing, shooting a 4-over 76 that included two bogeys and a double on the par-3 third hole after he had opened with a promising 8-under 64. The 32-year-old from Stockton, Calif., slipped down the leaderboard into a tie for 35th at 140.

The remarkable story of 14-year-old amateur Guan Tianlang is continuing in New Orleans. After making the cut in the Masters earlier this month to become the youngest player ever to do that, the eighth grader from China - playing this week on a sponsor's invitation - posted a 3-under 69 to make the cut, setting another mark as the youngest player to ever qualify for the weekend in a PGA Tour event.

"I think I played a very good round today," said Guan, who opened with a 72. "I made a lot of birdies and got a couple of good up-and-downs, so it was still a pretty good round. I think I made the cut. It has been a little different [to the Masters], I would just like to prepare for another tournament. Not much different, just doing normal [things] that I should do."

The projected cut is 2-under 142. A notable player heading home is 2011 PGA champion Keegan Bradley, who carded a 74 after a 69 Thursday.

Sweden's Jesper Parnevik and American Steve Marino withdrew Friday. Marino opened with an 80 but pulled out before the start of the second round with a foot injury. Parnevik shot a 72 Thursday, but withdrew after going even-par through 16 holes.

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