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Keegan Bradley maintains share of Valspar Championship lead

An eagle on his final hole helps Bradley tie Sam Burns, four strokes ahead of the rest of the field.
Second-day co-leader Keegan Bradley watches the green at the No. 18 hole Friday at Innisbrook Golf Resort.
Second-day co-leader Keegan Bradley watches the green at the No. 18 hole Friday at Innisbrook Golf Resort. [ IVY CEBALLO | Times ]
Published May 1
Updated May 1

PALM HARBOR — Keegan Bradley had a near-perfect day Friday at the Valspar Championship.

After the Jupiter resident teed off on the No. 2 hole (his 11th of the day) at Innisbrook’s Copperhead Course, a special guest ran onto the fairway.

Bradley’s 3-year-old son, Logan, ducked under the ropes and toward his father, shouting, “Daddy!” Bradley picked up his son and carried him about 10 yards down the fairway.

“It’s so amazing (to have moments like that with him),” Bradley, 34, said afterward. “I always wonder what he thinks is going on out here. He’s only 3, so he doesn’t really get why I’m out here, there’s ropes there, he doesn’t care about the ropes. So he came and ran out and I hugged him, and it’s just so great to have him out here.”

It was one of two special moments for Bradley during the second round of the PGA Tour event. An eagle on the par-4 No. 9 hole, his last of the day, capped a round of 5-under-66, giving him a share of the 36-hole lead.

Bradley is tied with Sam Burns with a two-day total of 12-under 130, four strokes ahead of third-place Lucas Glover, Max Homa and Charley Hoffman.

“Man, it was a fun day, and what a way to finish,” Bradley said. “It was a blast.”

Keegan Bradley watches the ball after his shot on the No. 8 hole.
Keegan Bradley watches the ball after his shot on the No. 8 hole. [ IVY CEBALLO | Times ]

Bradley’s tee shot on No. 9 landed downhill of the hole, forcing him to hit into the wind. He lost sight of the ball as it bounced on the green and rolled into the hole. Moments later, the crowd erupted in cheers.

“I hit the shot and you can’t see it from where we are, so you kind of have to wait for a reaction and then when people put their arms up, normally that means it goes in,” Bradley said. “But, wow, what an exciting way to finish.”

While Bradley “turned a good day into a great day” with four birdies and an eagle, Burns had an even better one, putting together the lowest round of the week.

Burns made eight birdies (five over his final nine holes) to shoot 8-under 63.

“I think I’m just comfortable on these greens,” he said. “I know over the weekend there will be some challenges, and I’m excited for the opportunity.”

Early exit

Phil Mickelson was one of the more notable golfers who failed to make the 36-hole cut (1-under).

The 50-year-old shot 2-under 69 Friday for a two-day total of par 142.

“I had an enjoyable day,” Mickelson said. “It’s a good golf course, and I enjoyed the challenge of playing it.”

Mickelson said he has had trouble staying focused during play. He said he doesn’t have a great solution right now but “is working on it.”

Phil Mickelson watches a shot on the No. 12 hole.
Phil Mickelson watches a shot on the No. 12 hole. [ IVY CEBALLO | Times ]

“I’m trying all different things to be able to elongate my ability to stay focused or to refocus,” Mickelson said. “But when I get called off shots, like cellphones ringing or people yelling or something, my physical ability to refocus, to back away and then refocus and so forth, I’m physically not able to do it right now. So I have to find techniques to be able to do that.”

Patrick Reed also did not make the cut after finishing at par-142.

Justin Rose had an even tougher tournament, shooting 5-over 147 over the two days.

Michael Visacki’s Cinderella story ends

Michael Visacki, who stole the golf world’s heart Monday when he qualified for the tournament (his first PGA Tour event), could not improve enough on his first-round score to make it past the cut.

Michael Visacki missed the cut line by four strokes.
Michael Visacki missed the cut line by four strokes. [ JOHN PENDYGRAFT | Times ]

Visacki, who started 3-over 74 on Thursday, shot par-71 to miss the cut line by four strokes. He birdied three holes, but bogeys on Nos. 4, 9 and 18 didn’t help his chances.

Contact Mari Faiello at mfaiello@tampabay.com. Follow @faiello_mari.