Kuchar (15-under) leads Humana as Palmer, Haas go low

Second Round — PGA Tour — Humana Challenge — Multiple Courses — La Quinta, California —

Low scores rained down on the California desert for the second straight day at the PGA Tour’s Humana Challenge.

Friday included a run at 59, when Ryan Palmer challenged the magic number. The 38-year-old was 10-under through 10 holes after turning in 27 at PGA West Nicklaus Private — one of the three courses in the rotation this week. He ended up with nine birdies, two eagles and two bogeys en route to shooting 61.

He isn’t even the leader. Palmer, T-7 at 12-under, was a runner-up to Patrick Reed here a year ago.

Everyone is chasing Matt Kuchar, 11th in the Official World Golf Ranking.

Kuchar, who captured the RBC Heritage Open last season, posted a 64 Friday to reach 15-under overall. He has a one stroke lead over Michael Putnam and Bill Haas at the half-way point. Kuchar, a runner-up here in 2010, was an 18-to-1 betting selection at heading into the week. He is playing for the third straight week and struggled to challenge Jimmy Walker in the final round last weekend at the Sony Open in Hawaii.

Haas was even through seven holes Friday, but catching fire with a hot putter. He managed seven birdies during one stretch and nine during an 11-hole run to shoot 63 at La Quinta Country Club. He is won this tournament in 2010 and was a runner-up 2011.

Justin Thomas and Nick Watney, a five-time winner on the PGA Tour, are T-4 at 13-under.

Look for continued low scores into the weekend. The tournament features a 54-hole cut Saturday after play concluded. The remaining players finish off the tournament Sunday at PGA West Stadium Course. Golf Channel has the coverage.

Other Golf News: 

  • Dustin Johnson committed to play at the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, California Feb. 5-8. It will his first start since last July. DJ took a leave of absence to address “personal issues.” ¬†Johnson is currently 22nd in the world ranking.
  • Kuchar was a 25-1 pick to win the Masters Tournament before the start of the calendar season at DJ was listed at 25-1, while Haas was 100-1.
  • Phil Mickelson rallied back in round two shooting 6-under-66. He is 7-under through 36 holes and T-36.
  • Rocco Mediate leads the way at the moment at the Champions Tour 2015 debut event in Hawaii at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship. Mediate is 6-under on his round with several holes to finish. Defending champion Bernhard Langer is 3-under through three holes.