Bohn’s birdies carry him to 3 under
KAPALUA, Maui » Jason Bohn isn't the golfer you'd expect to have the best round at yesterday's $5.4 million Mercedes Championships.
But after opening with a ho-hum 76 on Thursday, the University of Alabama graduate came back with a stellar 3-under 70 that included birdieing four of the final five holes.
It left him in a tie for eighth, only three strokes off the pace set by two-time defending champion Stuart Appleby. Bohn was one of only a half-dozen golfers to shoot in the red during the second round, but none equaled his mark.
"It's awesome," Bohn said, when asked about being here. "Since day one, since I got here, I'm having a ton of fun. I'm just enjoying it with my family. I brought my parents over, I brought my in-laws, my wife, my 6-month-old son.
"It's been as much about family as it has been about golf for me. I think that's kind of good sometimes. It takes my mind off of golf. Being the first tournament of the year, a little bit more low-key than other events. There's a guaranteed paycheck, that's always nice."
The third-year pro qualified for the winners-only event by capturing the B.C. Open. He also finished second to Olin Browne at the Deutsche Bank Championship and tied for third at the Chrysler Classic of Greensboro. The 32-year-old turned pro in 1992, but didn't qualify for the PGA Tour until 2004.
No wonder the Nationwide Tour veteran is excited about being here.
"I've had a few mai tais," Bohn said. "I'm just chilling. I'm really enjoying myself. The golf, surprisingly, it's been pretty good for me. Yesterday, I hit a couple of balls out of bounds on an easier day than today. I really struck the ball well today."
Solid Sony field: The Mercedes is a good source of golfers for the Sony Open in Hawaii.
The entry deadline came and went yesterday afternoon with 22 of the 28 golfers in this week's tournament opting to play in next week's first full-field event on the PGA Tour.
Among the six notable exceptions are Sergio Garcia, Justin Leonard and U.S. Open champion Michael Campbell. The other three are Ben Crane, Geoff Ogilvy and Ted Purdy.
The top golfers from here committing to the Sony Open are defending champion Vijay Singh, 1996 United Airlines-Hawaiian Open champ Jim Furyk, David Toms, Kenny Perry, Bart Bryant, Appleby, K.J. Choi, Fred Funk and 2001 Sony Open winner Brad Faxon.
Three of the world's top 10 golfers will appear at the Sony Open next week. They are No. 2-rated Singh, seventh-ranked Furyk and No. 9 Adam Scott of Australia. Other top-rated golfers appearing next week are Perry (14), Toms (15), Bryant (23), Stewart Cink (27) and Appleby (30).
Tough scoring: The par 3s wreaked havoc in yesterday's wind-blown conditions with the 218-yard second playing the toughest of all 18. The scoring average was a whopping 3.714, with two birdies, six pars, 18 bogeys and two double bogeys. The birdies were scored by Mark Calcavecchia and Heath Slocum.
The other two par 3s tied for sixth overall with a scoring average of 3.214. The par-4 12th wound up being the easiest hole with a scoring average of 3.750. There were seven birdies and 21 pars.
Garcia didn't break par for the first time in 14 rounds here.