Tommy Armour III, who shot 67s in each of the first two rounds, was asked what sort of work he does on his swing in the offseason.
“Well, I think it’s an always changing kind of game,” he said. “You have to change to stay the same. I think because if you stay the same, for some reason, it doesn’t stay the same.”
As a follow-up, Armour was asked if he had ever made any drastic changes in his career.
“A couple of wives,” Armour joked.
At one point in the second round, five players were tied for the lead.
Scott McCarron (UCLA) is back out in front, having made a birdie at the par-4 seventh hole to move to 9 under, one stroke ahead of Tommy Armour III, Steve Stricker, Phil Mickelson and Luke Donald.
As former UCLA standout Kevin Chappell left the clubhouse following the second round Friday, a young girl walked up to ask for his autograph on a Northern Trust Open flag.
“You’ve got just about everyone on here,” Chappell said as he looked for a spot to sign.
A moment later, as Chappell handed the flag back, he noticed the girl was wearing a Stanford T-shirt and cap.
“We need to get you a UCLA hat,” Chappell said with a smile before leaving Riviera Country Club.
Chappell, who won the NCAA individual championship last spring while guiding the Bruins to the team title, won’t be back on the Riviera course today, missing the cut with a two-round total of 5-over 147.
And when he’ll next sign an autograph as a PGA Tour player is in question.
After graduating from UCLA, Chappell failed to make it past the first stage of the PGA’s qualifying school last fall. That means he has no playing privileges on either the PGA or Nationwide tours.
He was in the field at the NTO only because he tied for sixth at last week’s rain-shortened AT&T National Pro-Am at Pebble Beach, for which he received a sponsor’s exemption.
“I don’t even know,” Chappell said when asked about his upcoming schedule. “I’ve got some decisions to make.”
Chappell began the season in Arizona on the minor-league Gateway Tour, and said he plans to try to go through Monday qualifying to get into Nationwide Tour events.
“He’s just trying to go play wherever he can play,” said UCLA coach Derek Freeman, who caddied for Chappell this week. “He just wants the competition.”
On the bright side, Chappell earned $197,487.50 for his effort at Pebble Beach.
“Having made some money out here, it’s a teaser,” Chappell said. “Hopefully it can give me a kick-start.
“I always seem to do things the hard way. In my history with golf, there’s always a learning curve. My goal was to get in here (the NTO), so I accomplished that goal.”
Scott McCarron (UCLA) birdied two of the first three holes to move to 9 under and into sole possession of the lead.
Phil Mickelson dropped back to 8 under with a bogey on the par-3 sixth and is tied for second with Tommy Armour III and Steve Stricker, who have completed their rounds.
After an eagle on the par-5 opening hole to pull two strokes ahead, Phil Mickelson’s drive on No. 2 went far left, almost up against the fence to Riviera’s driving range.
He took a bogey from there to drop back to 9 under, one shot better than Tommy Armour III and Steve Stricker.
Phil Mickelson made an eagle-3 on the first hole to move to 10 under par, breaking a three-way tie for the lead with Tommy Armour III and Steve Stricker.
Mickelson reached the green in two on the 503-yard par-5, then made a 28-footer.
Phil Mickelson just teed off on the first hole, and already he has company at the top of the leaderboard. Tommy Armour already finished his early round and shot a 67 after posting a 67 yesterday. He’s 8-under for the tournament as is Steve Stricker, who’s shot 68-66–134 and is tied for the lead.
Tiger Woods just had a conference call on his decision to return to golf.
Here’s a couple of comments from Woods, who will play in next week’s WGC-Accenture Match Play Championships.
“Nothing changes from every time I enter. It’s to win. That’s my intent to go there and win. Nothing has ever changed.”
Woods said he made sure his wife, Elin, and newborn son, Charlie Axel, were OK before returning to play golf. Asked if the birth of his son, Charlie wasn’t a factor, he said he yes that he probably could’ve returned before next week. So, the Northern Trust perhaps just missed out on hosting Woods’ comeback.
“One of the frustrating things is I haven’t been able to make my schedule like I normally do. I have to take this tournament by tournament. I’d like to play certain tournaments, yes. I don’t know how this (knee) will behave and (the) recovery from day to day.”
Kevin Chappell, Parker McLachlin, Scott McCarron, Tom Pernice Jr. and John Merrick played in the first round of the Northern Trust Open Thursday, then were honored at halftime of the UCLA-Washington game at Pauley Pavilion.
After the game, McLachlin was spotted waiting in a long line of cars to leave UCLA’s parking garage No. 7, which has just one exit. It probably didn’t matter much because he has a 12:43 tee time today.