Hovland-Ventura share lead with Finau-Champ at midway point of Zurich Classic

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Cameron Champ-Tony Finau
Apr 23, 2021; Avondale, Louisiana, USA; Tony Finau exits the 9th green with Cameron Champ during the second round of the Zurich Classic of New Orleans golf tournament (Photo: Stephen Lew).

Just based on the format, you knew scores would be higher Friday on the second day of the Zurich Classic at the TPC of Louisiana in Avondale.

Perhaps they went a little higher than anticipated with the average round being over par.

At the end of the day, a pair of teams shared the lead at the halfway mark of the 2021 event.

Starting on the back nine, Norwegians Viktor Howland and Kris Ventura shook off a double bogey on the 16th hole, recovering with five birdies to fire a 69 in the alternate shot format to tie Tony Finau and Cameron Champ for the lead after two rounds as both teams are at 13 under par 131.

Finau and Champ were solid with five birdies and just one bogey on the day as part of a 68.

A pair of formidable pairs are just two shots back, including Justin Rose and Henri Stenson, who shot 68, and Americans Scottie Scheffler and Bubba Watson, who had a round of 69. Both are at 11 under par 133. Watson is a former champion in the singles format at the Zurich Classic and a two-time Masters champion.

South Africans Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel are three shots back at 10 under par, along with the duo of Americans Richy Werenski and Peter Uihlein.

Former Zurich doubles champion Cameron Smith, along with partner Marc Leishman, are at nine under par, four shots back, along with the team of Jason Kokrak and Pat Perez.

Defending champions Ryan Palmer and John Rahm, along with the team of former LSU star Sam Burns and two-time Zurich champion Billy Horschel, are five shots back at eight under par.

The wind was again a factor, blowing pretty hard, making it hard to get the ball close on a lot of greens on approach shots.

The highlight of the day came when former U.S. Open champion Graeme McDowell made a hole in one on the difficult 17th hole. It was the first hole in one in his fine career.

The cut was at six under par 138.

Among those missing the cut were the team of Colin Morikawa and Matthew Wolff.

Round three Saturday returns to the best ball format where scores will again go lower.

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Born and raised in the New Orleans area, CCSE CEO Ken Trahan has been a sports media fixture in the community for nearly four decades. Ken started NewOrleans.com/Sports with Bill Hammack and Don Jones in 2008. In 2011, the site became SportsNOLA.com. On August 1, 2017, Ken helped launch CrescentCitySports.com. Having accumulated national awards/recognition (National Sports Media Association, National Football…

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