Friday, March 10, 2017

Russell Knox, Martin Laird, Luke Donald miss the cut

Adam is first man at Valspar after 64 puts

 him in lead ahead of Herman

PALM HARBOUR, Florida – Notes and observations from Friday’s second round of the Valspar Championship, where Canadian Adam Hadwin birdied five consecutive holes on the back nine as he fired a 7-under 64 to grab the lead at the halfway point.
Jim Herman, who made 11 straight pars to begin his round and posted an even-par 71, is one back at 9 under, while South African Tyrone Van Aswegen, who took just 23 putts en route to a 65, is in third alone, two back.
For more coverage from the Copperhead Course at Innisbrook Resort, click here for the Daily Wrap-up.


After authoring a 59 at the CareerBuilder Challenge earlier this season, Hadwin reminded everyone how streaky-good he can be when he’s "on" with his back-nine 29 at the Copperhead Course. After a ho-hum, 1-under 35 on the front, he reeled off birdies on holes 10-14 to zoom up the leaderboard.
“It's nice to see the ball-striking kind of come around,” he said, “and the putter stay where it has all year.”
Hadwin hit 11 of 13 fairways Friday, as opposed to just seven the day before. His five straight birdies were reminiscent of his third-round performance at the CareerBuilder, where became the eighth different player to shoot a sub-60 score on the US PGA Tour.
He didn’t win that week, ultimately finishing second to first-time winner Hudson Swafford by a stroke, and this time around Hadwin is determined to improve on that result and break through with his own maiden victory on tour.
“I've put myself in position the last couple years,” he said. “I feel like the finishes have got stronger and I keep kind of putting myself going into the weekends.
"Just getting more comfortable out there. Really learning my game a little bit more. Learning how I feel under pressure a little bit more, and figuring out how to deal with that. I'm excited for this weekend, what it will bring, and hope to keep some of these scores coming.”


Although he fashioned a stout, even-par 71 in the swirling afternoon winds to remain 7 under and well within reach of the lead, Henrik Stenson’s Friday highlight was scooping up his youngest daughter Alice as she ran under the ropes on the second hole.
“My family drove up today [from Orlando],” said Stenson, the highest ranked player in the field (No. 6 in the Official World Golf Ranking).
“The kids were out of school and yeah, she doesn't know to stay outside the ropes, that's for sure. She comes running in when she sees me. That was good.”
Stenson remained in contention despite making a bogey at the par-5 11th hole, followed by another bogey at the par-3 13th. He birdied the 15th before getting through the three-hole Snake Pit (16-18) in even par.
“It's just a different golf course in the afternoon, and that's pretty much expected,” Stenson said. “So all in all, I'm happy with the day's work and score-wise, yeah, it could have been better. But that's golf. Sometimes you run into a bit of a bad spell, and we had that on the back nine today.”

Bryson DeChambeau got off to a rough start on the US PGA Tour this season, and it was easy to wonder what happened to the player who won the 2015 U.S. Amateur and NCAA individual title.
He made just three cuts in 10 starts, withdrew from the Genesis Open after getting a sponsor’s exemption, and had harsh words for the USGA after it deemed his putter non-conforming, leading to the end of DeChambeau’s experiment with side-saddle putting.
But that was then. DeChambeau’s father John received a long-awaited kidney transplant on Wednesday, and Bryson, with a new found sense of perspective, has seen his golf game rally in kind. He shot a second-round 70 to get to 5 under, and at one point had it all the way to 8 under before making bogeys on three of his last six holes.
“There’s been a lot of things happening lately,” said DeChambeau, who won a college tournament, the 2014 American Athletic Conference Championship, at the Copperhead Course.
“I’m finally getting back to playing some good golf and executing under the gun. And that’s one thing I’ve been looking for this whole year and it just hasn’t happened.
"I’m finally getting back to my college days a little bit with my ball-striking, and strokes gained: tee to green is finally getting back up to plus 3 or 4, where I’m used to seeing it.”
He’s also starting to feel comfortable on the greens, having gone back to conventional putting after four tournaments with the side-saddle method. Although he bogeyed the par-5 fifth, the par-4 sixth and the par-4 ninth holes -- he started on the back nine -- DeChambeau said even his slew of late bogeys couldn’t derail his good mood, in light of the great week his father has had.
John DeChambeau, who has been limited in his travel and his ability to watch his son play, had been waiting for a transplant for almost three years, his son said.
“I knew he was going to get a kidney, it was only a matter of time,” DeChambeau said. “It was more of my not performing in the golf aspect for the last couple months, three or four months. Just a couple of putting issues, and other than that, kind of it is what it is. "I’m getting back into form and looking to play some really good golf here coming up. I know I can play with the best of them and can be one of the best in the world at one point in time.”
As for his early-season misadventures, he added: “I messed up on a couple things. I’m 23, I’m going to make mistakes, and everybody is going to view me as the villain at that point in time. They were viewing me as that way. I wasn’t looking to do anything to ruffle any feathers. I’m learning what to say, how to say things, and getting better at doing it.”
Russell Knox (70-74), Luke Donald (71-73), Bubba Watson (73-71) all missed the cut by two shots. Martin Laird missed it by three with a pair of 73s.

par 142 (2x71) Players from USA unless stated otherwise
132 Adam Hadwin (Canada) 68 64.
133 Jim Herman 62 71
134 Tyrone Van Aswegen (S Africa) 69 65
135 Dominic Bozzelli 67 68, Russell Henley 64 71,Henrick Stenson (Sweden) 64 71.

139 Ian Poulter (England) 72 67 (T20)
140 Seamus Power (Ireland) 66 74 (T32)
142 Graeme McDowell (N Ireland) 75 67 (T42).

MISSED THE CUT (142 and better qualified)
144 Russell Knox (Scotland) 70 74, Luke Donald (England) 71 73, Bubba Watson 73 71
145 Martin Laird (Scotland) 73 73.




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