GOLF: Mediate in command heading into third round

Rocco Mediate is currently leading the field at the Open with a 13-under-par, four strokes ahead of second. Photo: (c) Joann Dost

Three years have flown by since Rocco Mediate has held a 36-hole
lead. Eight years have past from the last time Mediate won a PGA

Three years have flown by since Rocco Mediate has held a 36-hole lead. Eight years have past from the last time Mediate won a PGA event.

One drought ended Friday. The other may be quenched this weekend.

Mediate has his swing working through two rounds of the Open at CordeValle Golf Club, shooting a 6-under-par 65 in Round 2 on Friday to follow his opening round 64.

Mediate sits as the 36-hole leader at 13-under, three strokes in front of Ryuji Imada and four strokes ahead of David Duval and Dean Wilson.

“It is all back about,” said Mediate, who has struggled to regain form after his 2008 U.S. Open sudden-death loss to Tiger Woods and is struggling to break into the top-125 on the tour’s money list to automatically maintain his tour status.

“It is all about striking, on this golf course especially. So if I can go out and hit all the fairways and all the greens, that’s what I have to do.”

Mediate eagled the par-4 fourth hole en route to a 3-under front nine.

Imada (67) is alone in second, birding the final hole of the day to move to 10-under. Wilson had the round’s low score, firing a 7-under 64. Wilson began the day tied for 24th.

“Nice smooth greens in the morning versus yesterday when they were a bit bumpy,” Wilson said. “I think there is a lot of danger out here. I need to drive the ball well…Start driving a little wayward and you get it in the rough, it makes it rough for us.”

Duval backed up his first-round 68 with an impressive bogey-free 6-under 65 on Friday.

“We always complain about leaving shots out there,” Duval said. “All in all, I’m just very pleased.”

Duval said he felt he hit the ball well on Friday and birdies on the final two holes of his round to catapult himself into a tie with Wilson demonstrated just that.

“You can’t control what other folks do,” he said about Mediate’s lead. “All I can try to do is contain and hit the golf ball like I have.”

Tim Herron (67), Will MacKenzie (68) and Henrik Stenson (67), Bo Van Pelt (69) and Rickie Fowler (65), who played the back nine 4-under closing with back-to-back birdies, are all at 8-under to share fifth.

“I was just happy to make a couple putts there at the end, I was giving myself looks all day,” Fowler said. “If the course keeps firming up its going to make it tough. Between yesterday and today, the greens were still a little soft today. It was nice for them to firm up a little bit today. If they keep firming up through the weekend, I don’t think there’s going to be a lot of low scores.”

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