PALM HARBOR — David Toms entered the second round of the Transitions Championship just hoping to play well enough to continue into the weekend after shooting 3-over 74 on the first day.
He made the cut and then some, firing 8-under 63 on the Innisbrook Copperhead Course, one stroke shy of the course record, for the low round of the tournament.
At 5-under 137, three shots off the lead, Toms is in contention for his first title since 2006. And Toms, 43, revealed he has been playing with a bone spur rubbing against a tendon in his right rotator cuff. He needs arthroscopic surgery, he said.
"(Doctors) tell me I'm going to be out eight weeks if I have it done. So, I'm just taking medication and trying to get through it," he said.
Toms birdied his first two holes Friday and was 4 under for the day through No. 7. He made four more birdies on the back nine and completed his round without a bogey.
"I guess I got up on the other side of the bed this morning," he said, grinning. "I was trying anything to get something going."
Toms has made five of six cuts this year but has yet to earn a top-10 finish. "To follow up a tough round (Thursday) with a good round — actually a great round — I'll take it," he said. "Hopefully, that'll kick-start the year a little bit, or at least this week."
DALY MAKES CUT: John Daly had just saved par on No. 9, his final hole of the second round, by draining a medium-range putt to remain 1 under for the tournament when playing partner Rocco Mediate draped his arm over the enigmatic golfer's shoulder while the rest of the group completed their round.
"He said he's never seen me hit it this good, swing this good," Daly recalled.
A week after tying for 24th at the Puerto Rico Open, his best result since 2007, Daly made his third cut in a row, following his opening-round 70 with par 71.
"I'm not hitting it great, but I'm not hitting it bad," he said. "My chipping's a little weak. My putter's starting to come around, so you just kind of take what you can do. I'm just trying to stay patient."
Daly's presence over the weekend should make tournament officials ecstatic considering the sizable crowd he typically draws. He easily had the largest crowd Friday. "The fans are great," he said. "This place has always been good."
NO more BULLS: Opening-round leader Garrett Willis slumped over the final nine holes, barely making it into the weekend after a second-round 6-over 77 that left him at par 142. After playing even through nine, Willis double bogeyed three of his last nine holes.
Willis, a Dade City resident, wore a USF Bulls hat the first two days but will shelve it for now. "After playing so poorly (Friday), I'm going to have to mix it up, find something else that might work," he said.
RISING TO THE OCCASION: Justin Leonard estimated he has eight or nine holes-in-one in his career. Most, like Friday's ace on the 175-yard, par-3 13th, have come on the PGA Tour. "I think I've only made two outside of tournament play, so timing's pretty good," Leonard said, smiling.
Leonard landed his 7 iron about 10 feet from the pin and watched as the ball rolled into the cup.
"I knew the ball was going to be close, but for it to go in and kind of steal a shot right there, it's a great feeling," he said.