Zach Goes Low Again; Trails Dufner by Two
Zach Johnson on Friday followed up his field-leading opening-round 5-under 65 with a stellar second-round 67 only to end the day trailing - who else? - Jason Dufner at the Crowne Invitational at historic Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth.
Dufner, the erstwhile journeyman pro who has morphed into the hottest golfer in the world, hung a 6-under 64 on the board, an improvement over his first-round 65.
At 11-under par, "Duf" - as Zach calls him - is two shots ahead of Johnson and five up on Bo Van Pelt and Tommy Gainey, who stand at 7-under.
The winner of last week's Byron Nelson Championship outside Dallas, Dufner now looks to become the first golfer since Ben Hogan in 1946 to win the Nelson and the Colonial back-to-back.
"I feel a lot of control over my golf ball," Dufner said. "I feel I can hit a lot of different shots, high, low. Cut balls, draw balls, just depending on what the wind is giving me and where the hole locations are. It's a nice way to play golf."
Zach, who won the tournament in 2010, will get a close-up look at Dufner on Saturday, as the two friends will be paired together for the third round, also known as "moving day." But the always-focused Johnson will be interested only in his own game.
"It doesn't matter who I play with," Zach told the media after his Friday round. "Certainly, Jason and I are buddies. I will enjoy playing with him because he's a friend. It's nothing more than that. He's got a good rhythm about...his game right now. I'm not playing against him, I'm playing against the golf course and the conditions and the elements that are presented. So, that's my focus."
Meanwhile, Johnson has good reason to be optimistic about his chances on the weekend. His 67 on Friday was his 14th consecutive round in the 60s at Colonial.
"I'm going to dwell on some of those positive feelings I've had in the past, but once again they're just the past," he said. "I think at any course, experience is beneficial."