TPC Potomac held back a bit on Friday as weather was the main story in the second round of the Wells Fargo Championship. With a steady dose of heavy rain rolling into the area, players struggled to overcome the soggy golf course, lush rough and the mental strain that inevitably comes with playing in such conditions. The par 70 averaged nearly three shots above the day, a far cry from the subpar average it exposed players to in the opening round.
For the second straight day, those playing in the afternoon received the favorable end of the draw with rains during the late wave. Keegan Bradley jumped up the leaderboard late with a 5-under-65, but for most of Friday it seemed like the low rounds courtesy of Chad Ramey, Luke List and Max Homa were coming in the morning.
With each 4 under 66 signing, all three are now well positioned to chase Jason Day through the weekend. Day hasn’t lifted a trophy since his 2018 Wells Fargo Championship triumph, and while his swing seems in a comfortable place, there are questions about how he’ll react in the final stages of this tournament. The Morning Wave bottom men shouldn’t have any problems as they proved capable on Sunday as all three are victorious this season.
Jason Day (-10): Day’s second round of 3-under-67 was almost as impressive as his near-record 7-under-63 on Thursday. Despite the cold, rainy conditions of Potomac, Maryland, the Aussie seemed to be in control, playing the front nine (his back nine) flawlessly at TPC Potomac. Rarely missing a shot, the former world No. 1 gained more than five strokes on the field and is in control of a wet weekend.
“It was nice to do that lap in these conditions,” said Day. “All the work I’ve put into the off-season, the weeks is starting to show a lot of signs and I’m finding a lot of confidence in that momentum. Every once in a while it falls back on some of the old stuff but the main thing for me is just not to panic and just step back and go through my recordings and try to trust that as best I can. If I can do that, hopefully I’ll be somewhere, if not leading, come Sunday.”
2. Max Homa (-7)
T3. Luke List, James Hahn, Kurt Kitayama, Denny McCarthy (-6)
T7. Chad Ramey, Brian Harman, Keegan Bradley (-5)
Are we sure this edition of the Wells Fargo Championship isn’t being held at Quail Hollow Golf Club? Not only Day won on the typical tournament host, but also Hahn and Homa. Another course that requires a strong presence from the start. If someone were looking blindly at the leaderboard, they wouldn’t have the faintest idea that this week’s venue was TPC Potomac.
Day, Homa, List and Kitayama are above average in terms of distance traveled on the PGA Tour, while Hahn and McCarthy go for accuracy. These days I tend to favor the power players, and even more so as the wet conditions actually make the fairways wider. That’s not to say McCarthy and Hahn won’t stick around, but their path to victory is a lot narrower than that of others near the top.
McCarthy is persistent
No one is telling McCarthy that TPC Potomac should be a ball forward’s paradise. The Maryland native is one of the best putters on the PGA Tour and continues to give the home crowd plenty of cheering as he’s stayed in touch with the leaders halfway through the Wells Fargo Championship. If fifth-place McCarthy comes to the rescue with putting shots in his last 36 holes, this week could have a fairytale ending.
“Obviously that would be great,” McCarthy said of a possible win in his home state. “But I’m on the course so well at the moment that I think once I’m on the course – even today was bad – it’s still fun to be in this position where I know I’m at.” leading and I feel good about it. That’s why I’m looking forward to the weekend.”
Rickie, Rory and Wolff are losing ground
T18. Ricky Fowler (-2): A forgotten man in his threesome, Fowler couldn’t keep up with his gambling competitors Day and Homa. The putter came home 3 overs, outpacing the 2012 Wells Fargo Championship winner in the inside half as he fell to 2 unders for the week. Still, Fowler can take a lot of good from his performance over the first two days, and what’s even better, he’s just five strokes off second place.
T18. Matthew Wolff (-2): Wolff’s day could have gone awry after opening his second round with a bogey. He would add two double bogeys to the scorecard but the 23-year-old continued to show determination and eventually made it through to the weekend. Currently in the top 20 at 2 under, he could be in line for his best finish on the PGA Tour in 2022.
T50. Rory McIlroy (S): Wet conditions in the Washington DC area have treated McIlroy well in the past but not today as the Northern Irishman has struggled mightily. McIlroy turned 3 over and fought a left miss from the tee, a big no-go at TPC Potomac, and was unable to muster anything special on his home half as he settled for a round of 3-over-73, to do this cut off the number.
Tweet of the day
Joel Dahmen was right in the mix to start Friday at TPC Potomac and after an eagle on the par 14, he was 9 under. The 34-year-old, who took the lead at the moment, was on course for a late start time on Saturday before completing his second round after a disastrous 10 holes. Playing that final stretch in 8 overs, Dahmen crashed down the leaderboard and threatened to miss the weekend entirely. After the round, his caddy Geno Bonnalie – a must-follow on Twitter – shared this.
Updated odds and tips
Here’s a look at the new odds after 36 holes, courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook.
- Jason Day: 7/4
- Max Homa: 2.11
- Keegan Bradley: 14-1
- Matt Fitzpatrick: 16-1
- Denny McCarthy: 16-1
- Luke list: 18-1
- Brian Harman: 18-1
- Tyrell Hatton: 22-1
Do you trust Jason Day or not? That’s the question to answer before placing a bet. If you don’t, like me, the options abound and yesterday’s inclusion of Homa and Fitzpatrick gives way to some aggression further down the odds board. I still believe in Abraham Ancer, who is trading at 35-1, but someone with the firepower of Tony Finau at 2 below could make for an interesting play at 55-1.