McLachlin falls 4 shots back at AT&T
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First-round leader Parker McLachlin shot a 2-under 70 yesterday to enter the weekend of the AT&T Classic tied for fourth, trailing 36-hole leader Jonathan Byrd by four shots.
McLachlin opened with a 66 on Thursday to find himself tied for the lead after the opening round of the PGA Tour event. The Honolulu native birdied his third hole yesterday, but then carded a double bogey at the par-4 fifth and a bogey at the par-5 sixth, before righting the ship with a birdie at the seventh.
The former Punahou standout continued his up-and-down round on the back nine with a birdie at the par-5 10th, then carded another double bogey at the 12th, before closing out with back-to-back birdies at Nos. 14 and 15 and an eagle at the par-5 closing hole to remain in contention.
Former Kaneohe resident Dean Wilson (71) also made the cut, finishing on the number with an even-par 144. He is tied for 59th with 14 pars, three birdies and one double bogey at the difficult par-4 fifth. Through two rounds, the fifth is the most difficult hole with a scoring average of 4.613 with 17 double bogeys and seven triples.
Wilson bounced back a with a birdie at the sixth. Wilson landed on the cut. He has made it in nine of 16 events entered this season.
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DULUTH, Ga. » Jonathan Byrd took advantage of soft fairways and receptive greens at TPC Sugarloaf yesterday, shooting his second straight 6-under 66 to take a three-stroke lead in the AT&T Classic.
Byrd, seeking his fourth PGA Tour victory, shared the lead with Hawaii's Parker McLachlin, Kenny Perry, Ryan Palmer and Jonathan Kaye when the second round began.
The course was drenched with more than an inch of rain Thursday and, though no precipitation fell in the second round, overcast conditions kept the sun from drying off the fairways and greens and making the course play faster.
Perry and Palmer shot 69s to drop into a tie for second. McLachlin, a Punahou graduate, shot a 70 to drop into a three-way tie for fourth with Charles Howell III (69) and David Toms (69) at 8 under.
Defending champion Zach Johnson (70) and Sugarloaf resident Stewart Cink (71) were seven strokes back at 5 under.
Byrd, who finished sixth in 2006 and tied for ninth in '07, was in the final group two years ago when Phil Mickelson finished the tournament a staggering 28 under.
Mickelson's penchant for attacking a course ripe for low scores impressed Byrd.
"I watched him just kind of stay aggressive, stay aggressive, stay aggressive, and he kept making birdies," Byrd said. "And I just kept telling myself that today. It's windy, but the greens are soft, so I've got to keep trying to hit it close and keep trying to make birdies."
Byrd was upset with himself for a mental lapse that led to a three-putt at the par-5 sixth. It marked the only hole he played over par in the second round and just his second of the tournament.
"You just can't give away shots in a PGA Tour event with guys that are this good," Byrd said. "And that was just a pure giveaway. You do that in junior golf. You don't do that on the PGA Tour, but it happened and it might motivate me to play better."
Perry, who teed off at 8 a.m., was pleased with his round, but he knew afternoon conditions would create easier scoring opportunities as the day wore on.
Not that Perry would complain after playing his entire first round in the rain. He has restored some confidence to enter the third round at 9 under, a major improvement after an embarrassing 81 in the final round last week at The Players Championship.