Shawn Stefani has managed to hold the lead after both the first and second rounds at the Tampa Bay Championship. After 36 holes, the PGA Tour rookie is clinging to a one shot lead over Adam Scott and K.J. Choi. Scott put himself in the final pairing on Saturday with a 66 on the day, which was tied for second lowest second round score.
Stefani was on fire on the greens, with only a single putt needed on half of his holes. Had his putter not been so hot, he likely wouldn’t be in first place heading into the weekend. Even with his impressive putting stats, Stefani still only managed to card a one under par 70 on the day. Imagine what his card would have looked like with a handful of those one-putt greens turning into two and three putts. There’s a realistic possibility he wouldn’t even be on the first page of the leaderborad.
In a rather surprising development, Scott seems to have been able to shake off his epic meltdown at the British Open last year and is suffering not lasting effects from the collapse. He started 2013 by winning the Australian Masters and has played solid golf all for the vast majority of this year.
Speaking about his round today, Scott said “everything was very controlled and consistent. … I’ve felt my confidence grow on the course with the pitching and chipping.” Scott has already proven his mental toughness this year but being able to push the debacle at the British Open out of his mind and start this season well. The only real test of mental fortitude will be his next appearance in a major championship.
I, for one, had Scott slated to be a disappointment this year based almost solely on his performance at the Open Championship last year. I’m not above admitting when I’m wrong. For now, however, Scott is in a great position to compete over the weekend in Tampa Bay.