Bohn Leads Zurich Classic by Two, Misses Course Record by One

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Greg Owen

Jason Bohn fired a seven under par 65 with the TPC Louisiana course record of 64 certainly within his grasp. But he isn’t complaining.

After hitting a perfect drive, Bohn was left with just a downwind shot of 220 yards on the Par 5 18th, a hole that was averaging just 4.89 strokes for the day.  A par would tie the course record; a birdie and the course record would be his.

“I rushed the shot,” explained Bohn. His three iron second shot found the water. Only 20 others out of 133 did the same on Thursday.   A bogey 6 put a slight damper on an otherwise sterling day.

“I thought I could make three as a good as I was putting. I was playing aggressively,” said Bohn. The one-time PGA Tour winner (2005 BC Open) will go to sleep on that decision as he takes a two-shot lead into Friday’s round.

Two strokes back at five under par 67 are Chris Couch, the 2006 Zurich Classic Champion, John Dufner, Jeff Overton, Greg Owen and John Senden.  This group of five has a combined victory total of two wins on the PGA Tour with the leader having only one.  A victory for anyone in this group could change their careers. You have to think they all know this well – maybe too well.

Sitting at 4-under par waiting for the opportunity to add to their win columns are Charles Howell III (2 PGA Tour wins), David Duval (13 PGA Tour wins), Troy Merritt (first year on the PGA Tour), Kevin Sutherland (1 PGA Tour win) and K.J. Choi (7 PGA Tour wins).

Choi’s 68 in the difficult windy afternoon conditions was a strong round that included a double-bogey on the par-3 9th.  Choi looks poised to become a two-time champion in New Orleans.

One shot back of this group at 69 is Louisiana’s favorite golfing Tiger, LSU alum David Toms.  This 12-time winner on the PGA Tour will have the fans on his side, and a second victory in New Orleans is certainly within reach.

Other notable contenders are Brad Faxon (8 PGA Tour wins) at 3 under, Rory Sabbatini (5 PGA Tour wins) at 3 under, Aaron Baddeley (2 PGA Tour wins) at 2 under, Bob Estes (4 PGA Tour wins) at 2 under, Carlos Franco (4 PGA Tour wins, 2 in New Orleans) at 2 under, Steve Flesch (4 PGA Tour wins, 1 in New Orleans) at 2 under and Boo Weekley (2 PGA Tour wins) at 2 under.  Defending champion Jerry Kelly is at one under.

In the end, this will be a challenge for the many players trying to make a name for themselves against seasoned veterans.

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