Ryan Palmer & Wesley Bryan Tied After Two Rounds At The Honda Classic

322
Wesley Bryan

2017 The Honda Classic

(The 15th of 43 events in the PGA TOUR Season)

Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.                   Feb. 23 – 26, 2017              Purse: $6,400,000 ($1,152,000/winner)

PGA National (Champion Course)        Par/Yards: 35-35—70/7,140

Second-Round Notes – Friday, February 24, 2017

Weather: Mostly cloudy skies with a high of 80. Wind NNE 7-14 mph.

Second-Round Leaderboard
Ryan Palmer           66-65—131 (-9)
Wesley Bryan          64-67—131 (-9)
Rickie Fowler          66-66—132 (-8)

36-Hole Cut: 70 professionals at even-par 140 from a field of 144 players.

Ryan Palmer
Making his 11th career start at The Honda Classic, Ryan Palmer played his last nine holes without a bogey (started on No. 10) en route to a 5-under 65 to co-lead at 9-under-par 131, the second lowest 36-hole lead since the event moved to PGA National in 2007. The lowest 36-hole lead since 2007 is 11-under-par 129 in 2014 by Rory McIlroy, while the tournament record is 128 by Dan Pohl in 1989.

Palmer’s 65 is his lowest score in 38 rounds at The Honda Classic. He has posted a 66 four times, including yesterday’s first round. Since 2012, Palmer has struggled in the third round, posting just one sub-par score (a 69 in 2014).

In 10 previous starts at The Honda Classic, Palmer has two missed cuts and one top-10; a T2 in 2014 when he recorded four rounds in the 60s (68-66-69-69), just one of two times a player has done so at The Honda Classic since 2013 (Justin Thomas/2016).

Palmer has four missed cuts in five starts this season. His lone made cut was a T49 at the Genesis Open.

Since The Honda Classic moved to PGA National in 2007, Palmer boasts the highest career scoring at the Bear Trap; 38-over par in 28 rounds prior to the 2017 tournament. This week, he has played the three-hole stretch at even par. Palmer is also the player most over par at the 16th hole (+17).

This marks Palmer’s fifth 36-hole lead/co-lead on the PGA TOUR and first since the 2014 Dell Technologies Championship. Of his previous four, he went on to win twice: 2008 Ginn sur Mer Classic (in Palm Coast, Fla.) and the 2010 Sony Open in Hawaii – his most recent win on TOUR.

Palmer’s key statistics:                        Stat                  Rank
Strokes Gained: Off the Tee                   2.514                5th
Stokes Gained: Tee To Green                9.542                1st
Strokes Gained: Approach the Green    5.254                2nd
Greens Hit                                              29/36
Fairways Hit                                           18/28

Second-Round Lead Notes
Since moving to PGA National in 2007, the only winners to have held a 36-hole lead/co-lead were Y.E. Yang (2009), Camilo Villegas (2010) and Padraig Harrington (2015).

Through 14 events in the 2016-17 PGA TOUR Season, nine players have converted a 36-hole lead/co-lead to victory, most recently Dustin Johnson at last week’s Genesis Open.

Wesley Bryan
A week after a career-best T4 at the Genesis Open, first-round co-leader Wesley Bryan posted a 3-under 67 to take a share of the lead heading into the weekend at The Honda Classic.

This marks Bryan’s second 36-hole lead/co-lead on the PGA TOUR. He previously held a share of the lead after round two of the 2016 John Deere Classic (T1). He finished T8 at TPC Deere Run.

Bryan is making his first start in The Honda Classic this week. Since 1980, only four players have won The Honda Classic in their first attempt: Tim Herron (1996), Matt Kuchar (2002), Todd Hamilton (2004) and Padraig Harrington (2005).

Bryan is in search of his first win on the PGA TOUR in his 14th career start. Twelve players have made The Honda Classic their first career TOUR title. Since 2000, five players have achieved the feat:  Matt Kuchar (2002), Padraig Harrington (2005), Mark Wilson (2007), Y.E. Yang (2009) and Michael Thompson (2013).

Bryan is making his 10th start of the season on the PGA TOUR this week. Prior to last week’s T4, he missed the cut in four of his previous five starts.

Bryan played the Champion Course in 2015 during Q-School where he shot rounds of 71 and 70 (second and fourth round) to finish T9.

After winning three times on the Web.com Tour in 2016, Bryan earned a battlefield promotion to the PGA TOUR. Bryan is one of 11 players who have made their way to the PGA TOUR via the Web.com Tour’s Three Victory Promotion. With a win this season, he would become the first player to win on the PGA TOUR after the Three Victory Promotion since Jason Gore in 2005.

Bryan, a 26-year-old South Carolina native, is also known in the golfing world for trick shot routines with his brother George. Their creative routine landed the brothers on Golf Channel’s “Big Break” series in 2015, which was filmed at PGA National.

Rickie Fowler
For the second consecutive year, Jupiter, Fla. resident Rickie Fowler opened with matching 66s. Last year, Fowler held a one-stroke lead after 36 holes before rounds of 74-71 led to a T6. Here’s a look at Fowler’s scoring by rounds one and two, compared with rounds three and four, since 2012 (he missed the cut in 2010 and 2011).

Stat
Rounds 1&2
Rounds 3&4
Rounds 66 or Better
5
1
Under-par rounds
8
4
Score to par
-18
+1

Fowler has not posted a round in the 60s on the weekend in his last two starts at The Honda Classic.

Fowler is making his eighth start in The Honda Classic where he owns two top-10s: T7 in 2012 and T6 in 2016.

In three starts on the PGA TOUR this season, Fowler has one missed cut (Farmers Insurance Open) and two top-six showings: WGC-HSBC Champions (T6) and Waste Management Phoenix Open (T4).

Fowler’s career on the Bear Trap:

Stat
15th Par 3
16th Par 4
17th Par 3
Total
Greens in Regulation
17 of 26
13 of 26
13 of 26
43 (55%)
Balls in Water
2
1
2
5
Score to Par
+4
+7
-1
+10

Miscellaneous Notes
Anirban Lahiri, who moved to the Palm Beach area last year and plays out of The Bear’s Club, followed an opening 65 with a 2-under 68 and is two shots back. Lahiri has not played PGA National since he missed the cut in his tournament debut last year.

PGA TOUR rookie C.T. Pan, who finished T14 at Q-School held at PGA National in 2015, alongside Wesley Bryan, opened with rounds of 66-68 and is three shots off the lead. Pan finished T2 at the Farmers Insurance Open before missing the cut in his next two starts (Waste Management Phoenix Open and AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am).

A day after becoming the first player to hit all 18 greens in regulation in a round at PGA National, first-round co-leader Cody Gribble posted a 6-over 76, hitting just five greens. At even-par 140, he made the cut on the number.

With rounds of 70-68, Ollie Schniederjans extended his streak of consecutive rounds on the PGA TOUR at par or better to 26, the best of any player in the field. Bill Haas currently leads the TOUR with 27 consecutive par-or-better rounds.

Zach Johnson, who celebrated his 41st birthday today, has the most rounds without a bogey on the 15th hole, going bogey-free over his last 14 rounds.

Defending Honda Classic champion Adam Scott opened finished his second round double-bogey-bogey-birdie for a 1-under 69. Last year, Scott was three shots back after 36 holes.

The week of The Honda Classic offers the final opportunity to qualify for next week’s World Golf Championships- Mexico Championship, a title Adam Scott will also be defending. Players not previously eligible can qualify by being inside the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking (players inside the top 50 in the OWGR as of 2/20/17 cannot drop out) or the top 10 or the FedExCup standings following The Honda Classic.

Scoring Averages at the par-70 PGA National:

             Front 9             Back 9             Total                Cumulative
Thursday                      35.070              35.261              70.331              —
Friday                           34.835              35.777              70.612              70.471

Bear Trap averages – No. 15 (3.101/9th toughest), No. 16 (4.245/4th toughest), No. 17 (3.237/5th toughest).

The par-5 third (4.496) was the easiest hole of the day. The par-4 14th (4.266) was the hardest hole of the day.

Bogey-free rounds:

R1: Graham DeLaet (66), Ian Poulter (66) and Brian Harman (67).

R2: None

 

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