PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — Aaron Sensible is making PGA Nationwide look simple.
Sensible shot his second straight 6-under 64 on Friday to take a three-stroke lead into the weekend on the Honda Traditional. The 128 complete is the bottom 36-hole rating at PGA Nationwide because the match moved there 15 years in the past — and marks the primary 36-hole lead of Sensible’s PGA Tour profession.
“It is two nice rounds of golf and I like that, and I like that I am taking part in good,” Sensible stated. “However this place can get to you fairly fast and there is plenty of golf left forward and plenty of bother on the market.”
He had a pair of eagles to spotlight the day, his first two of 2021. Brandon Hagy (62) and first-round chief Matt Jones (70) had been tied for second.
Sensible birdied the final to complete off the 64, the eighth spherical of 64 or decrease surrendered by PGA Nationwide this week. Till this yr, there’s by no means been greater than seven rounds of 64 or decrease in a Honda on that course; final yr, no participant even broke 66.
Sensible made a 3-footer for a 3 on the par-5 18th, his ninth gap of the day, then linked on a 45-footer for eagle on the par-5 third.
“I’ve made so many bonus putts from outdoors 10 ft that I am unable to complain,” stated the 24-year-old Sensible, the 2016 NCAA champion for Oregon.
Hagy did not even know he was taking part in within the match till it was virtually too late to get a flight, getting in because the next-to-last alternate. He opened with a 69, then shot 62 — the fourth rating that low in Honda historical past at PGA Nationwide — Friday.
“It has been sort of a humorous week,” Hagy stated. “I used to be in Scottsdale on Tuesday afternoon and get a flight final minute, fly out Tuesday, do not play apply rounds. I am feeling like I am taking part in on just a little little bit of home cash, so I stored it fairly unfastened on the market.”
Jones survived 5 bogeys to shoot even-par 70. Sam Ryder (63) was alone in fourth, 4 photographs again at 8 below. Shane Lowry (66) was in a bunch at 7 below.
“I like this place,” Ryder stated.
Jones (61), Sensible (64) and Russell Henley (64) had the 64s or higher Thursday; Hagy, Ryder, Sensible, Brice Garnett (64) and Stewart Cink (64) had them Friday. Cink shot a 67 in his first Honda spherical at PGA Nationwide 12 years in the past; he hadn’t been higher than that in any of his 39 rounds there since, till Friday.
“It felt like a better day scoring,” Cink stated. “I performed higher, however it simply felt just like the course was extra cheap at the moment than it was yesterday. This course is at all times onerous.”
Sensible’s rating marked solely the third time somebody has been double digits below par after the primary two rounds because the Honda moved to PGA Nationwide. Each earlier ones occurred in 2014; Rory McIlroy was 11 below after 36 holes, one shot higher than Brandon De Jonge.
McIlroy wound up dropping that yr in a playoff. De Jonge shot 76-78 on the weekend and tied for 63rd.
U.S. Ryder Cup captain Steve Stricker shot 71 and is 3 below. Padraig Harrington, captain of this yr’s European Ryder Cup crew, shot 78 and missed the lower. So did Lee Westwood, who was coming off back-to-back runner-up finishes at Bay Hill and The Gamers Championship.
The silver lining for the 47-year-old Westwood was clear: He will get a pair days off earlier than the Dell Match Play subsequent week. And he knew he was gassed even earlier than attending to PGA Nationwide.
“This was most likely a match too far for me, after the run I’ve had the final two weeks,” Westwood stated. “However I felt like I ought to play right here this week. In a really perfect world this may have been per week off after ending second the final two weeks. What are you able to do? Simply felt like one I needed to play.”