On Friday at TPC Louisiana, it was easy to tell a Tiger by his stripes.
“Wearing solid purple didn’t work too good for me yesterday, so I went with the (purple) stripes today and I did a little bit better,’’ said two-time LSU All-American David Toms, who carved out a 4-under 68 in the second round of the Zurich Classic of New Orleans.
“So maybe I’ll come out with something gold tomorrow and try that color.’’
After shooting an opening-round 73, Toms teetered on the brink of missing the weekend because of Ben Martin’s course-record 62 on Thursday afternoon. But Martin cooled off with a 67 on Friday, and Toms righted himself to finish at 3-under 141 to clear the cut line of 2-under.
He jump-started his round with a 28-foot birdie putt on No. 10 (his first hole), a 397-yard par 4. Then he came within 18 inches from scoring an ace on No. 3, a 204-yard par 3.
“Overall, I feel good about where I am. I just need a low round tomorrow to get back in it,’’ he said.
It is Toms’ sixth made cut in 11 PGA Tour events for this wrap-around season, ensuring he will add to his yearly earnings of $241,361.
It is a sizable wad of dough for most folks but a relatively paltry sum for an elite golfer who has earned nearly $40 million in prize money and counts the 2001 PGA Championship and 2001 Compaq Classic of New Orleans among his 13 tour victories.
At age 47 and three years away from joining the Champions Tour, Toms wonders if his victory at the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial in May 2011 will be his last on PGA Tour.
“It would have to be a week where I play my best golf and am really hot with my putter and have some things go my way,’’ Toms said of his chances of winning again on tour. “It depends on the golf course. A lot of golf courses now kind of eliminate me from contention and make it very difficult for me to win on.
“This one has to be right up there because I’ll have so many long shots and the type of course it is. I think Pete Dye courses, in general, just make you feel uncomfortable from the very first shot to the last shot.’’
Thursday’s opening-round 73 illustrates that point. He went to the par-3 17th at 2 under and posted double-bogey, bogey to finish at 1-over 73, 11 shots behind Martin and in danger of missing the cut.
After Friday’s round that featured five birdies and a lone bogey, he was singing a different tune, with designs of catching the first game of a three-game series between LSU and Tennessee at Alex Box Stadium.
“I’m going to try and go,’’ Toms said. “I’ve got my tickets in the car, so it’s a matter of what the rest of the family wants to do. If my wife (Sonya) wants to go have a nice dinner, ballpark hot dogs are probably out.’’
Asked to handicap LSU’s chances of reaching the College World Series, Toms replied: “I’ve watched almost every game this year on the Internet and in person or listened to them on the radio. I’m not sure they are quite as strong as years past. Their pitching has been coming around here lately, so it seems like it’s pitching and defense that gets you there these days.’’