After returning Friday morning to TPC Louisiana to resume his first round in the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, former LSU golfer Smylie Kaufman had things going his way.
Under bright, sunny skies, a stark contrast to the dark clouds and thunderstorms that caused a nearly five-hour delay Thursday, things were looking up when Kaufman carded three birdies in his final 11 holes to cap a 4-under-par 68.
But in a matter of minutes, everything went south and Kaufman ballooned to a 9-over 81 in the second round to miss the cut with a 5-over 149 total.
Kaufman said he and playing partners David Toms and Charley Hoffman were rushed to start their second round just minutes after completing the first.
“We had maybe three minutes, and I did a terrible job regrouping,” Kaufman said after spending nine hours on the course Friday. “Then I hit my first tee shot out of bounds, which kind of set the tone for the day.
“I had a lot of bad breaks, but I’ve been off with my swing and it showed today. I have to work on some things.”
Kaufman took a double bogey on the first hole of the second round and finished with two doubles and five bogeys.
With two weeks off from the PGA Tour after playing in the final pairing at the Masters, Kaufman said he had no expectations coming to this event.
“I was coming off two weeks of not playing and had never played this course,” he said. “I’ll be better prepared next year, because this course fits my eye. Today just wasn’t my day.”
Toms and former LSU star Ben Taylor will make the cut comfortably after posting 36-hole scores of 139 and 142. Toms had rounds of 68 and 71, while Taylor started with rounds of 70 and 72.
Former LSU player Andrew Loupe was 4-under after seven holes of his second round when play was suspended by darkness at 7:31 p.m.
Former Tulane standout Michael Thompson was 6-over through seven holes, and Lafayette native Tim Yelverton was 2-over through six.
LSU senior Zach Wright will miss the cut (72-77—149) along with Kaufman (68-81—149).
Even though he’ll likely miss the cut, which will come Saturday when the second round is completed, 2015 Zurich Classic champion Justin Rose continued a streak of rounds at par or better at TPC Louisiana.
Rose had back-to-back even-par 72 scores in the first two rounds, giving him a total of 18 consecutive rounds of par or better here. The last time he was over par for a round was in 2011 when he shot 77-74 and missed the cut.
In the 68-year history of New Orleans’ PGA Tour stop, only four players have managed to win back-to-back titles. The exclusive club: Byron Nelson (1945-46), Bo Wininger (1962-63), Tom Watson (1980-81) and Carlos Franco (1999-2000).
Early first-round leader Brian Stuard, who shot a 64 Thursday, started late Friday afternoon and had nine consecutive pars before back-to-back birdies got him to 10-under when play was halted. … George McNeill, who returned Friday to complete an opening-round 75, was disqualified when he didn’t show up for his 12:20 p.m. second-round tee time. … Zurich Classic fans can vote for their favorite tournament volunteer in the PGA Tour Volunteer Challenge, which raises funds for non-profit organizations, until 1 p.m. Saturday. To vote, go to PGATour.com/volunteers.