Martin extends lead to 3 in New Orleans
New Orleans, LA (SportsNetwork.com) - Ben Martin carded a 5-under 67 on Friday to extend his lead to three strokes after two rounds of the Zurich Classic of New Orleans.
Martin, who is seeking his first career PGA Tour victory, finished 36 holes at TPC Louisiana at 15-under-par 129. He had made just two cuts in his last nine starts, but finished in third place on both of those occasions.
"Overall, I don't think it could have gone much better," Martin said about his first two rounds this week.
Andrew Svoboda shot a 4-under 68 to remain in second place at 12-under 132, while Robert Streb (66) and Seung-Yul Noh (68) shared third at minus-11.
Erik Compton (68) and Peter Hanson (69) are tied for fifth at 10-under 134.
Martin entered the second round with a 2-stroke lead and quickly added to his advantage by sticking his second shot at the par-4 10th, his first, to within a foot and kicking in that for a birdie.
He pulled further ahead by chipping for an eagle at the 11th, and reached 14- under with a 7-foot birdie putt at the 13th.
After parring the next three holes, Martin 3-putted the 17th for a bogey before finding the water off the tee at the 18th en route to a double-bogey.
Martin would not drop another shot for the remainder of the day, though, and bounced right back with a 4-foot birdie putt at the first.
He added short birdie putts at the fourth, seventh and ninth to finish at 15- under.
"It was nice to kind of validate what I did yesterday getting off to a hot start," said Martin. "I wasn't worried about what had happened previously or what was coming up. I wanted to just try to do that again on the second nine."
No one was able to threaten Martin's lead until Svoboda took the course with one of the final groups of the day.
Svoboda also started on the back nine and parred his first four holes before rolling in a 35-foot birdie putt at the 14th. He added an 8-foot birdie at the 17th to make the turn at 10-under.
The two-time winner on the Web.com Tour last season added another birdie at the second and later converted back-to-back birdies at the seventh and eighth to pull within two of Martin at 13-under.
Svoboda, however, 3-putted for bogey at the par-3 ninth to finish at minus-12.
Noh had four birdies during his bogey-free round, while Streb countered a pair of bogeys with eight birdies to finish in third place.
NOTES: Josh Teater recorded a hole-in-one at the 17th hole. It was his first ace on the PGA Tour ... The second-round leader/co-leader has won four of the last five times in New Orleans ... Svoboda is seeking his first top-10 finish in his 33rd career PGA Tour start ... The cut line fell at 2-under-par 142. With 84 players advancing to the weekend, there will be a second cut to the low 70 and ties after the third round. Among those to miss the cut was defending champion Billy Horschel, Ernie Els and Rickie Fowler ... Matt Every withdrew before his second round with flu-like symptoms.
04/25 21:03:52 ET