Golf / Sports

Humana in 63 mode

LA QUINTA, Calif. -- These 63s are becoming monotonous.

Patrick Reed, who started the Humana Challenge with a 9-under-par round at the Palmer Private course at PGA West on Thursday, duplicated that score in Friday's second round at La Quinta Country Club. It was good for a two-shot lead over Brendon Todd, who fired a 63 at the Palmer Private course Friday.

James Driscoll also fired a 63 on Friday. Coupled with an opening-round 68, that left him five shots off the pace as the field started to lengthen going into the weekend.

Ryan Palmer, with a 7-under 65 at La Quinta, is three shots back, followed by former tournament champions Charley Hoffman and Bill Haas. Both shot 66s on Friday at the Nicklaus Private course.

The "go low" mantra figures to last through the weekend, with clear skies and mild breezes at 4-8 mph expected Saturday and Sunday.

"The weather's been so good for two days that I'm not surprised at what Patrick did," Todd said. "I'm happy I get to play La Quinta (Saturday) after watching him shoot another 9 (under) there."

Reed talked after Thursday's round about being something of a perfectionist. Friday he felt he was a little closer to where he wanted to be, mainly because he was using his driver efficiently.

"To start off the day hitting a perfect drive on the first and second holes out there, because they're very narrow ... gave me a little bit of extra confidence in that club," he said. "So I was able to attack and be more aggressive off the tees."

Then again, it could have been a 60. He parred 11 and 13, both par-5s, and felt he left birdies on the table. And he bogeyed 2 by leaving a pitching wedge a yard short.

"The good thing is, even though we're playing great, I feel like there's still room for improvement out there," Reed said. "(That) makes me feel better, because then I feel like I can step up on the tee tomorrow and feel like, 'OK, 63 is not out of reach.'"

A year ago at this tournament, eventual winner Brian Gay wasn't among the leaders at the halfway point, but wound up winning in a three-way playoff after shooting 63 on the final day.

Keegan Bradley recorded a hole-in-one Friday, hitting a 7-iron into the cup on the 177-yard third hole at the Nicklaus Private course.

"Zach (Johnson, his playing partner) hit the hole right before me, so it was good to make a hole-in-one," Bradley said. "I hit it really good. It was right at it, and sure enough, it went in."

Murrieta's Rickie Fowler, who shot a 68 on Thursday, had a 1-under 71 at the Nicklaus Private course. Fowler, who started on 10, double-bogeyed 18, a 455-yard par-4. He is in a tie for 75th at 5-under.

Brendan Steele shot 2-under for the second straight day and is tied for 91st at 4-under.

(c)2014 The Orange County Register (Santa Ana, Calif.)

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