Sunday, February 18, 2018
Sports

Dufner two days from Hogan's Texas double

FORT WORTH, Texas — Jason Dufner lists Ben Hogan as his hero.

At Hogan's Alley, Dufner had the lead halfway through the Crowne Plaza Invitational with a chance for a Texas two-step only Hogan has accomplished.

Dufner's bogey-free 6-under 64 on another windy day Friday at Colonial left him at 11-under 129 after two rounds. A week after winning the Byron Nelson Championship, Dufner had a two-stroke lead over Zach Johnson, the 2010 winner who shot 67.

The only player to win both PGA Tour events in the Dallas-Fort Worth market in a year was Hogan in 1946.

"That would be great company to join, obviously," Dufner said. "To have anything compared to him or be talked in the same sentence with him is something that would be pretty unique and special to me."

Both of Dufner's tour victories came in his previous three starts. He has led or shared the lead after 11 of his past 34 rounds.

Johnson, who opened with bogey-free 64, started Round 2 eagle-birdie-bogey. Then there was a four-hole stretch on the back nine when he alternated birdies and bogeys twice. He'll be paired with his buddy Dufner for today's third round.

"He's got a good rhythm about him, about his game right now," Johnson said. "But it's irrelevant who I play with. I'm not playing against him. I'm playing against the golf course and the conditions and the elements that are presented."

Two years ago, Johnson set the then-Colonial tournament scoring record at 21-under 259 en route to the most recent of his seven PGA Tour victories.

Bo Van Pelt (64) and Tommy Gainey (67) were tied for third at 133.

CHAMPIONS: Hale Irwin shot his age — and was so frustrated he might switch putters.

Irwin, who turns 67 on June 3, shot 5-under 66 in the second round of the Senior PGA Championship in Benton Harbor, Mich. He trailed leaders Roger Chapman and John Cook, who were at 7-under 135, by two, but Irwin wasn't the least bit satisfied with his work on the greens.

"I know the greens are difficult, but some of the putts I missed (Friday) are not that difficult," Irwin said. "I might even change to another putter (today) that's similar, but a different putter. I can't putt any worse."

Cook (66) tied Chapman at 7 under after a more forgiving day at Harbor Shores. Chapman had 67. Michael Allen broke the course record with 64.

EUROPEAN: No. 1-ranked Rory McIlroy missed the cut badly after shooting 79 to finish 9 over at the tour's PGA Championship in Virginia Water, England. James Morrison shot 64 for 132 total and led Luke Donald (68) and first-round co-leader David Drysdale (70) by four. A quarter of the field didn't finish the second round.

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