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NORTHERN TRUST OPEN NOTEBOOK

Matt Kuchar momentarily slowed by bee sting at Northern Trust Open

Kuchar, who shot a second-round 69 and is in a tie for third, was stung while standing on the sixth green. He missed a short birdie putt on the hole.

February 17, 2012|By Diane Pucin
  • Matt Kuchar hits his tee shot on the second hole Friday during the second round of the Northern Trust Open at Riviera Country Club.
Matt Kuchar hits his tee shot on the second hole Friday during the second… (Stephen Dunn / Getty Images )

Matt Kuchar, who shot a second-round 69 to put him at four under par and in a tie for third, played through some sudden pain.

While he was standing on the sixth green, Kuchar was stung in the forearm by a bee. "I haven't been stung in probably 20 years," said Kuchar, 33, who trails leader Phil Mickelson by two shots. "I had stopped being scared of bees as a matter of fact. The thing got me and it was really painful."

After the sting, Kuchar missed a short birdie putt on the sixth hole. "But I continued to play some good golf," he said.

Belly up

Pat Perez, who tied for the day's low round with a 65, changed to a belly putter in the off-season and is pleased with the results so far.

"I didn't hit the ball like you'd think I would," said Perez, who is one shot off the lead. "I didn't drive it all that great. I scrambled well."

Perez said, "Changing to the belly putter has changed everything for me."

He said former pro Tommy Armour III had tried to convince him for a year to switch putters.

"He was all over me to change," Perez said. "I didn't want to try it. I'd tried some before and didn't like it."

After testing it some in Mexico during his time away from the tour, Perez said he's happy to have made the switch.

"It's been great," he said.

Aced it

Joe Ogilvie had a hole in one at the 161-yard 16th hole. He hit a seven-iron for his third PGA Tour ace. Ogilvie had back-to-back rounds of even-par 71s and is tied for 28th.

Far and wide

Jimmy Walker is, along with Kuchar, in the five-way tie for third place even though he has hit only 13 of 28 fairways in regulation.

"You guys noticed that, huh?" Walker, 33, said when prompted to review his driving inaccuracy. "I did too, and I started to drive it a little better down the stretch."

Walker has two top-10 finishes this season.

Unkind cut

Eight golfers were unable to finish their second rounds Friday, so the cut won't become official until Saturday morning. The third-round pairings are expected to go off between 8 and 10 a.m.

The cut is projected to be at three over par, which would keep popular two-time champion Fred Couples out of the last two rounds.

Couples had missed the cut just twice in his 29 previous appearances at this tournament.

diane.pucin@latimes.com

twitter.com/mepucin

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