The CIMB Classic in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia is headlined by some of the PGA Tour's best, but the top of the leaderboard predominantly consists of players relatively less familiar with the winner's circle.
In firing his second consecutive round of seven-under 64, Robert Garrigus has built a two-shot advantage after Day 2 of the PGA-Asian Tour co-sanctioned event.
Some man named Tiger Woods is vying for his 75th PGA Tour victory, and he sits in a tie for fifth after stellar rounds of 66 and 67.
Woods' playing partner, Jbe' Kruger, lit up The Mines Resort & Golf Club with eight birdies against just one bogey on Friday in matching Garrigus' low round of the day. Kruger sits in second place with a 12-under total.
Garrigus has one previous Tour win, which came at the Children's Miracle Network Classic in 2010. While he hits it a mile and is quickly becoming one of the best ball-strikers in the world, it's the putter that has often betrayed him. By switching back to the conventional style from the controversial long putter, the flatstick has finally come to life for 34-year-old American late this year.
As far as superstars go, typically Ben Crane isn't near the top of anyone's list. But the veteran has four wins in his career and nearly $17 million in prize money. Aside from first-round leader Troy Matteson, Crane is the only one in the Top 10 who has multiple PGA Tour wins.
This event is not only in a very unique part of the world to the Tour, but there are plenty of players who can utilize this tournament as a proving grounds in a unique atmosphere. It will also be the final event for some in 2012, and playing well to cap off the season can be invaluable for the confidence of those who struggle to keep their Tour cards.
Here is a closer look at some of the highlights from Friday's action, as well as the leaderboard in what should wind up being an exciting finish this weekend.
|T3||Greg Chalmers||66-66 ||-10|
|T3||Troy Matteson||63-69 ||-10|
|T5||Brendon de Jonge||68-65||-9|
|T8||Ben Crane||68-66 ||-8|
|T8||Jeff Overton||64-70 ||-8|
|T8||Brian Harman||64-70 ||-8|
Leader Robert Garrigus was hot making the turn. After blasting a drive over 300 yards, he flips a wedge to about four feet from the cup, and drains his fourth consecutive birdie.
Jbe' Kruger looked to make some noise in his first experience playing with Tiger Woods, and he certainly did. Animated all day long, this nice 20-footer on No. 13 one of the South African's eight birdies on the day.
On the par-three seventh hole, Tiger Woods pulls his tee shot well to the left. In yet another display of short game prowess, he hits an outstanding shot that runs up and into the cup for a birdie—his third on the front nine.
The Golf Channel's always-humorous analyst Jason Sobel offered his unique perspective that was live broadcast from 12 to 4 a.m. in the U.S.
Golf tournaments played overnight always feel like video game simulations. Press a button and the results just appear on your screen.— Jason Sobel (@JasonSobelGC) October 26, 2012
The Asian Tour's official account had a little fun ribbing Tiger Woods in discussing the celebration antics of his fellow competitor Jbe' Kruger:
In an indirect response to Sobel's tweet, apparently someone was watching the tournament's live coverage: ESPNCleveland.com's Chris Fedor.
Who has two thumbs and is up late watching Tiger Woods at the CIMB Classic in Malaysia? This guy!— Chris Fedor (@ChrisFedor) October 26, 2012