Jason Dufner goes top in California after 65

Former USPGA winner takes just 22 putts in second round

 Jason Dufner plays a shot from the fairway on the 11th hole during the second round of the CareerBuilder Challenge at PGA West  in La Quinta, California. Photograph: Jeff Gross/Getty Images

Jason Dufner plays a shot from the fairway on the 11th hole during the second round of the CareerBuilder Challenge at PGA West in La Quinta, California. Photograph: Jeff Gross/Getty Images

 

Jason Dufner fired a seven-under-par 65 to grab the outright lead after the second round of the CareerBuilder Challenge in La Quinta, California on Friday.

Dufner, a three-times winner on the Tour, began the day in a four-way tie at the top but came out firing in round two, showing flashes of the form that won him his only Major, the 2013 PGA Championship.

Rolling the ball beautifully on the greens, Dufner began with a pair of birdies, bagged another at the fifth, and closed his opening nine with a run of three straight to reach the turn at six-under 30.

His only bogey came at the 10th but he carded two more birdies at 12 and 14 to post a 15-under total of 129.

Dufner took just 22 putts in his round at the challenging PGA West’s TPC Stadium Course, one of three layouts used in the tournament.

One stroke back at 130 was fellow American Jamie Lovemark, who matched Dufner’s 65 thanks to an early birthday gift at the first, his 10th hole of the day, where he holed out from the fairway on the Nicklaus Tournament Course for an eagle-two.

“Made that shot from 105 yards. Nice little present,” smiled Lovemark, who celebrates his 28th birthday on Saturday.

Five players were bunched at 12 under, three shots off the pace, including India’s Anirban Lahiri (68), Canadian Adam Hadwin (66) and Americans Jason Gore (64), Andrew Loupe (66) and defending champion Bill Haas (66).

Another stroke back was five-times Major winner Phil Mickelson, who returned a 65 and said that despite a belated start to his season he was nearing top form.

“I’m probably a week away,” he said. “But I’ve also won with a lot less game than I have right now, so I still expect to get in contention and have a good weekend.

“A lot of the iron shots are 12, 15 feet off. I know when I get it right I’ll have a lot more tap-in birdies in the round.”

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.