LSU trio advances to weekend at Zurich Classic

The primary colors Friday on the Zurich Classic of New Orleans leader board: purple, gold and red.

Former LSU golfers John Peterson, Ken Looper and David Toms rallied from first rounds that had them all flirting with the cut line with strong second-round performances at TPC Louisiana.

Peterson followed a first-round 71 with a 5-under-par 67 to vault into a tie for 12th at 138, six strokes back of 36-hole leader Lucas Glover.

Unable to unlock the riddle of Augusta National’s slick, sloping greens in his first Masters appearance two weeks ago, Peterson opened with a 71 but finished 60th out of 61 players to make the cut with an 80.

A week off to stand in fellow pro golfer Kelly Kraft’s wedding recharged Peterson. He decided to accept a sponsor’s exemption and play in the Zurich instead of returning to the Web.com Tour for this week’s stop in Valdosta, Ga.

“I don’t really have much to lose playing out here,” Peterson said. “The Web.com Tour is where I’m going to spend most of my year — barring something crazy here.”

Like a win, which would carry a two-year PGA Tour exemption.

Looper, a Mandeville native, also surged across the cut line with a second-round 66, finishing one shot off the best round of the day in his first career PGA Tour start.

Looper got into the Zurich by scorching La Tour Golf Club in Mathews for a 10-under 62 to win the Monday qualifier. He shot a 1-over 73 Thursday but piled up seven birdies Friday, including a chip to 11 inches on the par-5 18th.

“I did the same things as Thursday,” said Looper, who leaped from a tie for 82nd to a tie for 24th. “I just did them a little better and stayed committed. I was a little nervous (Thursday), but I realized it wasn’t different than any other tournament.”

Toms, who won the 2001 Zurich Classic at nearby English Turn, birdied Nos. 11, 12 and 13 and also birdied the 18th to follow a first-round 72 with a 68 that lifted him into a tie for 36th.

“The main thing was trying to shoot a good enough score to be around for the weekend,” Toms said. “I was just kind of cruising along at 1-under, then I happened to make three birdies in a row.”

Former Baton Rouge resident Patrick Reed shot a 73 and missed the cut by four strokes, while former Tulane golfer Michael Thompson shot 70 to finish at 146.

Oak Knoll Country Club pro Jake Narro of Hammond, the Gulf States PGA champion, shot a 74 on Friday to finish at 151.

Advocate sportswriter Sheldon Mickles contributed to this report.