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Stefani Maintains Lead at Innisbrook
Though his scorecard wasn't quite as spotless as his six-birdie 65 Thursday, Shawn Stefani was still atop the leaderboard in the Tampa Bay Championship in Palm Harbor, Fla., after 36 holes. The $5.5 million PGA Tour stop is taking place on the par-71 Copperhead course at Innisbrook Resort.
Stefani, a 31-year-old Tour rookie from Texas, carded a 1-under 70 Friday to reach 7-under 135, one stroke lower than Adam Scott (66) and K.J. Choi (67). Tied for fourth at 137 are Jason Dufner (66), Peter Tomasulo (68) and two former teammates at the University of Georgia, Harris English (69) and Brian Harman (70).
"Today was a little bit more of a struggle ball striking," Stefani told PGATour.com. "Didn't really drive it super-great. Didn't hit some of the best iron shots. But scrambled well and I putted really great. So you know, when you putt good that usually keeps rounds going, and that was pretty much what happened today with the result of my 1 under par."
Stefani, who earned his 2013 Tour card by winning two times last year on the Web.com Tour, added that his time as the tournament's leader hasn't given him stage fright. "I wasn't any more nervous than I am any round. I think I'm always a little bit excited about playing and I get a little nervous, which I enjoy. I think that's the competitor in me. There wasn't really any time today where I got, you know, really nervous or excited I guess."
Spain's Sergio Garcia posted a 4-under 67 that could have been much better. After opening with four birdies on the front nine to make the turn in 4-under 32, the 33-year-old managed only a pair of birdies and two bogeys coming home. He stands at 4-under 138 with Tag Ridings.
George Coetzee (68), Ben Kohles (67) and Greg Chalmers (68) shared 10th at 3-under 139.
Jordan Spieth, who was runner-up last week in Puerto Rico, shot a 68 and is among several players at 2-under 140. Before turning pro in December, the 19-year-old from Dallas led Texas to an NCAA championship as a freshman and is a two-time winner of the U.S. Junior Amateur.
Defending champion Luke Donald, who vaulted to golf's No. 1 ranking last year at Innisbrook after winning what was then called the Transitions Championship, followed up his opening 1-under 70 with a 72 and is now at even-par 142, seven shots behind Stefani.
The cut was set at 2-over 144. Among those heading home are former major winners Louis Oosthuizen, Retief Goosen, David Toms, Martin Kaymer and Mike Weir. Also missing the cut was 2010 U.S. Amateur champion, Peter Uihlein, who had rounds of 76 and 72.
Prior to the start of the second round, Bud Cauley, who opened with a 74, and Doug LaBelle (80) pulled out of the tournament. Cauley cited illness, while the reason behind LaBelle's withdrawal wasn't announced.
For all the scores, visit http://www.pgatour.com/leaderboard.html.