Blixt/Smith lead Zurich team event by a stroke after a 62
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[April 29, 2017]
(Reuters) - Sweden's Jonas Blixt
and Australian Cameron Smith, liberated by Friday's Four-Ball
(best-ball) format, combined for a 10-under-par 62 to grab the
halfway lead at the Zurich Classic team tournament at TPA Louisiana.
Blixt and Smith stood at 15-under-par 129 for a one-stroke lead over
Americans Patrick Reed, the U.S. Ryder Cup spark plug who feeds off
team play, and Patrick Cantlay, who also put together a 62 despite
gusty winds outside New Orleans.
Numerous teams went low, but none lower than South Africans Retief
Goosen and Tyrone Van Aswegan, who posted a 12-under 60 to catapult
up the leaderboard on 11 under par 133 after a bogey-free round that
featuring 10 birdies and an eagle.
After the opening round of Foursomes (alternate shot), playing
best-ball freed up the players to play more aggressively in the
first team event on the PGA Tour in 36 years.
"I think we just trust each other's game and that makes us be able
to go at the pins and be aggressive," Blixt told Golf Channel. "Cam
has my back and I have his and that makes it easy.
"There's 18 holes and I feel like we can both make birdies on each
hole and try to make as many as we can."
Smith gave most of the credit to the Swede.
"Jonas is playing really well at the moment so I can just play
aggressive," he said.
Tied for third two shots off the pace were South Koreans K.J. Choi
and Charlie Wi, who came out of retirement to play, along with
Americans Troy Merritt and Robert Streb.Lurking three shots off the
pace in a share of fifth were world number five Jordan Spieth and
fellow American Ryan Palmer, who struggled at times but tried to
[to top of second column]
Cameron Smith watches
his shot from the rough on the 10th hole during the second round of
the Zurich Classic of New Orleans golf tournament at TPC Louisiana.
Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports
"We have a rule where you can't apologize and you
can't say 'My bad' or you got to pay the other one," Spieth said. "I
think that's useful. We're both being positive influences when the
other one's a little off."
Two marquee duos featuring pairings of top 10 players failed to make
the cut, set at seven under par.
European Ryder Cup team mates Henrik Stenson and Justin Rose missed
the cut by a stroke but still finished one shot better than
Australian Jason Day and his American partner Rickie Fowler.
(Reporting by Larry Fine in New York; Editing by Nick Mulvenney)
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