Allred moves up with 2-under
LA QUINTA, Calif. — Jason Allred climbed up the leaderboard in the PGA Tour Qualifying Tournament Thursday, shooting a 2-under par 70 on the Nicklaus Tournament course at PGA West.
Allred was tied for 57th place through two of the six rounds, up from 126th following an opening-round 73 on the Stadium course. The Stadium course is playing roughly 21/2 strokes harder than the Nicklaus, and winds of 20 to 25 mph made it even more challenging.
The top 25 players and ties earn cards on the 2012 PGA circuit. Allred's 143 is three shots off that cut line; there are 29 players at 140 or better.
Allred had two birdies on each side Thursday, getting to 3 under through 11 holes and staying there until a bogey 5 on the 18th hole knocked him back. The hole is 453 yards and has played the toughest on the course through two days with a stroke average of 4.325.
Had Allred managed par there, he would have been one of only three players in the 171-man field to go without a bogey in the second round. Harris English did so on the Nicklaus track, with a 67, and Matt Jones did so at the Stadium with a 68.
Allred returns to the Stadium course today for a 8:28 a.m. tee time. His playing partners are Charlie Beljan and Andrew Svoboda.
Will Claxton, on the Stadium course, shot a 70 to take the overall lead by one stroke over Jones and English. Claxton was at 10-under 134.
Billy Hurley III was 8 under after a 71 on the Nicklaus course.
David Duval, among the big names in the field, was tied for 81st at even par after a 72 on the Nicklaus course.
Jesse Schutte, a three-time Oregon champion at Siuslaw High, was also at 143 following a 74 on the Stadium course. Former Oregon State player Mitch Gillis was tied for 133rd at 148. He shot 73 on the Nicklaus.
Chevron World Challenge
At Thousand Oaks, Calif., K.J. Choi opened with five straight birdies. Tiger Woods looked as good as he did in Australia, making his fourth birdie with a 3-iron to an elevated green on the par-5 fifth that covered the flag.
And then, without warning, the wind showed up Thursday at Sherwood Country Club.
Choi held his own in gusts up to 30 mph and finished with a 6-under 66, giving him a three-shot lead over Woods and Steve Stricker in the Chevron World Challenge. They were the only three players to break 70 in the 18-man field in the final official event in America this year.
Five of the six players who broke par — Jim Furyk, Nick Watney and Rickie Fowler were at 71 — had most recently played at blustery Royal Melbourne in the Presidents Cup.
Nedbank Golf Challenge
At Sun City, South Africa, defending champion Lee Westwood made a 20-foot birdie putt on the final hole for a 4-under 68 and a share of the lead with Masters winner Charl Schwartzel in the Nedbank Golf Challenge.
Robert Karlsson opened with a 69 at Gary Player Country Club, and top-ranked Luke Donald was another stroke back along with Martin Kaymer, Graeme McDowell, Jason Dufner, Simon Dyson and K.T. Kim.
Hong Kong Open
At Hong Kong, U.S. Open champion Rory McIlroy shot a 6-under 64 in blustery conditions for share of the lead with Alvaro Quiros and David Horsey in the Hong Kong Open.
Two-time champion Miguel Angel Jimenez opened with a 65 on the Hong Kong Golf Club's Fanling Course.
Defending champion Ian Poulter had a 71, and John Daly shot a 74.