MADISON, Miss. -- The Southern Farm Bureau Classic has been
a pretty good therapy session for a handful of PGA Tour players.
D.J. Trahan continued to shake off a "dismal year," shooting a
bogey-free 4-under 68 to move to 11-under 133 on Friday at
Annandale Golf Club. He has a two-stroke lead over Brad Faxon and
Joe Durant, who described their seasons alternately as "lousy"
and "terrible," but sit at 9 under with 36 holes to play.
Trahan and Durant are trying to earn their full tour cards for
2007, while Faxon is trying to make up for a difficult season that
has put him at 136th on the PGA Tour money list. Faxon is one of
the tour's steadiest players and hasn't finished out of the top 90
since 1985, his third year as a pro.
"There's a pride thing with that, too," said Faxon, who had
knee surgery in the offseason. "I've done a lot of things I
shouldn't have done this year. I'm hoping to make up for it the
last four weeks."
Twenty-one players were within six strokes of the lead.
Thirteen players, including two-time champion Fred Funk (70),
were four shots back. That group also included Glen Day (72), who
is desperately trying to hang onto his tour eligibility. He briefly
took the lead during the afternoon round at 10-under, but made
three straight bogeys on Nos. 10 through 12 and a double bogey on
After an opening-round 76, John Daly turned in Friday's best
round with a 65 to avoid the cut. He was six shots back at 3 under.
The three players atop the leaderboard have all had their
struggles this year and have missed a combined 33 cuts.
Trahan, a fourth-year pro, sits at No. 142 on the money list and
needs a strong finish to earn his full tour card as a top-125 money
winner. After eight birdies in the first round, he had a more
difficult second round. He had just one birdie on the first 13
holes, but birdied on Nos. 5 and 7, both par-5s, and holed a
20-foot putt on the final hole to take a two-stroke lead.
"It's been such a frustrating year because I don't feel like
I'm playing as poorly as the results show," Trahan said.
While Faxon earned his place on the leaderboard with 13 one-putt
greens in his first 15 holes, Durant took a more dramatic approach.
He made a 50-foot birdie putt on the par-4 15th hole, then made a
20-foot chip on the par-5 seventh hole for eagle. He said he felt a
"premonition" as he addressed the ball with a sand wedge.
"I got over that pitch and I saw in my mind very clearly where
I wanted to land the ball and release it to the hole," he said.
"I just pitched to my spot perfectly and it did exactly what I
thought it would do and rolled in like a putt.
"You don't get those feelings often."