Payne Stewart's lead of two under par had held through the first half of play yesterday, but then Mike Standly, who had started the round in second place, quickly leapt to the top.
Nick Faldo turned a good round into a disappointing one yesterday. He had shot a 78 on Thursday, when high winds had sent the field's scoring average up to 77.4. All the components of his game had improved after an intense practice session on Thursday afternoon, but after a three-birdie front nine yesterday Faldo shot two over on the back for a 71 total.
Though five over par for the tournament, Faldo is in no danger of missing the cut, which should come at seven or eight over. 'I'm playing better,' Faldo said. 'It's all there, it's just got to click. Everything's good, I just want it to happen, to know that I can do it.' Looking ahead to next week, Faldo said: 'For Augusta the way I'm hitting it is fine. You don't have to hit as many shots there.'
The other two European entrants, Ian Woosnam and Jose-Maria Olazabal, were both having difficult days. Olazabal, who started at six over par, stayed on the figure after six holes, while Woosnam improved his chances of having a free weekend with bogeys on two of his first five holes, bringing his total to 10 over par.
FREEPORT-McMORAN CLASSIC (English Turn, New Orleans, Louisiana) Leading early second-round scores (US unless stated): 144 B Estes 73 71; J McGovern 77 67; B Bryant 74 70. 145 C Gibson 73 72. 146 G Norman (Aus) 77 69; S Hoch 72 74; E Fiori 71 75; D Toms 74 72; B Bryant 76 70. Selected: 149 N Faldo (Eng) 78 71.Reuse content