For some gamers, the abrupt swap from the West Coast swing to the Florida swing is usually a tough adjustment. The cross-country flight, the time change, the climate distinction, and, maybe essentially the most underrated issue, the swap from Poa to Bermuda grass greens.
However for Chris Kirk, all these challenges couldn’t have come quickly sufficient. Kirk, who was born in Knoxville, Tenn., performed school golf on the College of Georgia and now lives in Athens, Ga., is a Bermuda man, via and thru. This is able to clarify why his putter is cooperating in an enormous means via 36 holes of the Honda Traditional, the place Kirk has shot rounds of 65 and 68 and sits at seven beneath, adequate for a share of second place with Kurt Kitayama, three strokes behind chief Daniel Berger.
“It is undoubtedly a consolation issue for me,” Kirk mentioned of the quick Bermuda greens at PGA Nationwide. “Bermuda and generally bent, however principally Bermuda, has been principally what I’ve had essentially the most success on for positive and the quicker the higher looks as if.”
Kirk, who missed the lower at The American Categorical and Pebble Seaside in California, shedding strokes placing in each begins, has gained almost 5 strokes placing over two days in Palm Seaside Gardens.
“For me, I are inclined to battle with the greens which can be slightly bit slower the place I really feel like I obtained to hit at it some,” he mentioned. “If I do know the greens are actual fast and I can simply form of let it go, that appears to be after I hit my greatest putts and I appear to be fairly first rate at studying Bermuda greens, so it is a mixture of numerous issues, however yeah, it is simply what I am most snug on.”
Kirk”s historical past on the PGA Tour greater than backs up his personal principle. He has 4 wins on tour in his profession and two have come on programs that function Bermuda greens (Nation Membership of Jackson, Sanderson Farms; RSM Traditional, Sea Island). His different two wins got here at TPC Boston and Colonial, which function Bentgrass greens, the second-favorite placing floor he talked about.
It helps, too, that Kirk is hitting it effectively (he ranks ninth in SG/tee-to-green this week) and getting up and down from in all places. That, plus a scorching putter, might equal a long-awaited fifth profession win, his final on tour coming in 2015.
“I’ve felt good about my golf swing for fairly awhile at times the work I’ve accomplished with Ramon, my placing instructor, the previous couple of weeks has obtained me feeling slightly bit extra assured in that space and yeah, so simply preserve plugging away,” he mentioned.
Daniel Berger’s (literal) house cooking
By now, you have heard the information—Berger is sleeping in his personal mattress this week. It is form of his secret weapon, serving to him shoot a pair of 65s to seize the solo lead at 10 beneath. His super-secret weapon, although? Mother’s cooking.
“I attempt to eat wholesome, however I undoubtedly eat higher when she’s cooking, that is for positive,” Berger mentioned Friday. “However yeah, it is simply good to sit down down in your personal kitchen or your personal bed room and simply really feel such as you’re at house and never be in a lodge. We spend loads of weeks and the highway so it is good to be at house.”
When requested if it is a explicit dish that is his favourite, Berger gave essentially the most sensible reply attainable: “Every thing. She’s an amazing prepare dinner, so the whole lot.”
A Koepka bro’s brutal end
Neither of the brothers Koepka performed significantly effectively on Friday, the duo capturing a mixed 4 over par. One among them, nevertheless, did survive the lower, and it was … Brooks, naturally, and he is tied for thirty first.
However, Chase Koepka got here rattling shut, which might have marked his sixth profession lower made on the PGA Tour and his second in a row on the Honda Traditional. He was effectively on his strategy to getting an additional 36 holes at PGA Nationwide on Friday, capturing a one-under 34 on the entrance 9 and arriving on the Bear Lure at even par for the spherical, one over for the event. That will have been safely contained in the lower line of two over, however bogeys at 16 and 17, plus a missed 15-foot birdie try on the 18th, noticed him miss the lower by one shot.
Robust break for Chase and an excellent more durable break for the entire Koepka clan available this week. Final yr, Brooks needed to pull out of the Honda on account of damage, whereas Chase posted a Thirtieth-place end. This yr, there was a reputable probability to observe them each on the weekend not removed from the place they grew up, however the Bear Lure had different plans.
Louis Oosthuizen’s unimaginable turnaround
Following an unpleasant opening 75, Louis Oosthuizen appeared destined for an early exit, particularly after selecting up proper the place he left off on Friday morning, double-bogeying the par-4 eleventh (his second) to fall to seven over for the week. Absolutely, his first win on American soil must wait.
That very possible will nonetheless be the case, however not for lack of making an attempt. Oosthuizen proceeded to play the following 16 holes in seven beneath, highlighted by a wild back-nine 29 that included 5 birdies on his remaining six holes. Not solely did he make the lower by two photographs, however he obtained right into a tie for thirty first, 10 photographs again of Berger. It appears to be like like an enormous hole, however on a course like PGA Nationwide, the place bother lurks at each nook, he isn’t fully out of it.
With a morning tee time on the horizon for Saturday, do not be stunned if Louie O’s title creeps up into the highest 10 earlier than the clock strikes midday.