Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Martin keeps Zurich Classic lead

AVONDALE, La. — When Ben Martin played junior golf, his father, Jim, would tell him that his demeanor should be the same every time he walked off a green, whether he made birdie or double bogey.

That might explain why Martin seemed so calm when his game briefly unraveled Friday in the middle of the second round of the Zurich Classic, and why he righted himself quickly enough to post the best two-round score ever at TPC Louisiana, erasing the 12-under 132 record held by Lucas Glover (2013) Jason Dufner (2012) and Jason Bohn (2010).

Martin, who shot a course-record 62 Thursday, shook off his first bogey and double bogey of the tournament to finish with 67, putting him at 15-under 129 — three ahead of closest pursuer Andrew Svoboda (64-68).

If the 26-year-old Martin can continue to show that type of composure, he might capture his first PGA Tour victory. "That's my personality in general. Sometimes my wife gets mad at me because I don't get excited about anything," Martin said. "And then I don't get down too much, either. That's golf. You can't expect to shoot 62 every day."

LPGA: Stacy Lewis overcame rain and hail to take the second-round lead in the Swinging Skirts Classic in Daly City, Calif., shooting her second straight 3-under 69 at Lake Merced. Winless since the Women's British Open in August, the third-ranked Lewis had a one-stroke lead over 17-year-old playing partner Lydia Ko and first-round leader Karine Icher. Lewis has five runnerup finishes since her victory last summer at St. Andrews. Ko shot 71, and Icher followed her opening 66 with 73. Lewis and Ko played alongside Michelle Wie, dealing with heavy rain and hail that suspended play for just over an hour. Play resumed in steady drizzle that gave way to sunny afternoon conditions that helped several of the late starters. Wie, the winner last week in Hawaii, was at par after her second 72.

teen angst: Fifteen-year-old Guan Tianlang, a year removed from his breakout performance at the Masters, failed to make the cut at the China Open in Shenzhen on Friday, shooting 76 to finish 3-over 147. He has now missed the cut at six of seven PGA and European tour events he has entered since becoming the youngest to complete 72 holes at Augusta National last year at the age of 14.