Honda Classic notebook

Russell Knox moves up Honda Classic leaderboard with hot putter

 
 
Russell Knox of Scotland plays a shot on the 16th hole during the second round of The Honda Classic at PGA National Resort and Spa in Palm Beach Gardens on Feb. 28, 2014.
Russell Knox of Scotland plays a shot on the 16th hole during the second round of The Honda Classic at PGA National Resort and Spa in Palm Beach Gardens on Feb. 28, 2014.
Stuart Franklin / Getty Images

jwalfish@MiamiHerald.com

Russell Knox woke up to almost perfect conditions for his Friday morning round at the Honda Classic.

The wind was not blowing hard, the fairways were soft and the greens were receptive to those willing to be aggressive. It was an excellent opportunity for the Scot to go low, and he tied for the lowest round with a 7-under-par 63 in the second round at PGA National Resort & Spa.

“I just got through the disaster holes and took advantage of the so-called easier holes,” Knox said. “I drove it well, and I putted it great, too.

“It was one of my better putting rounds since I’ve been out here.”

He began the day with a par on the 10th hole, but he converted on three consecutive birdie putts inside 10 feet to gather the momentum. A 20-foot birdie on No. 18 sent him out in 31 and three more birdies coming in got him into a tie for fourth at 7-under, four strokes back of the lead.

Knox was matched by John Senden, who also carded a 63 in the morning wave. Senden was also bogey-free with seven birdies, but he sits two shots back at 5-under overall after shooting a 72 in the first round.

TAMING THE TRAP

Daniel Summerhays became the first player this week to go 3-under or better on the Bear Trap, Nos. 15-17, with three birdies Friday on that stretch.

It was part of a remarkable streak of six consecutive birdies to go from 1-over after a bogey on the 10th to 5-under as he headed to his final nine holes. The early momentum from the birdies on Nos. 12 and 13 helped him gain the confidence heading into the dreaded Bear Trap.

“Those are two wedge holes you really want to take advantage of before getting into 14, 15, 16 [and] 17,” Summerhays said. “You need to take advantage of the holes that are a little less challenging.”

He said the greens were ideal for the morning tee times, and he took full advantage on the Bear Trap. He holed a 36-foot putt to birdie No. 15 and followed that up with a nearly 14-footer on 16 and a 21-footer on the 17th. He gained 2.63 strokes over the field Friday with his putting on those three holes and only .035 shots on the other 15 holes.

SERGIO’S SURGE

Sergio Garcia stood on the 17th tee Friday at 2-over, two strokes off the projected cut line.

He threw caution to the wind and attacked the flag, which was placed a mere four paces from the right edge of the green. Garcia’s shot with a 7-iron landed next to the flag and rolled to just short of eight feet from the pin. The Spaniard made the putt and went to the par-5 18th in need of another birdie.

Garcia hit his tee shot into a fairway bunker on 18, and after laying up to about 85 yards, blasted a lob wedge to 18 inches from the pin. He tapped the ball in and completed his comeback to play two more rounds this weekend.

“I haven’t been able to feel too comfortable,” Garcia said. “I’ve got to be happy with the finish and hoping for a busy weekend.”

THE LOCALS

It was a good day for South Florida natives at PGA National.

Miami native Erik Compton, 34, a two-time heart transplant recepient, shot a 2-under 68 to enter the weekend in a tie for 39th. He hit 12 of 14 fairways and 14 of 18 greens with five birdies and three bogeys on the card.

Coral Springs native Nicholas Thompson, 31, was even for the day with three birdies and three bogeys. Thompson is also tied for 39th heading into the final two rounds after shooting a 68 in Thursday’s opening round.

Read more Golf stories from the Miami Herald

  • Golfer aces par-4 hole in Kuala Lumpur tournament

    Malaysian golfer Mohd Nazri Zain had a rare hole-in-one on a par-4 hole during the SapuraKencana National Qualifier tournament on Wednesday.

  •  
Jim Furyk watches his putt go in for a birdie on the third hole during the final round of play at The Barclays golf tournament Sunday, Aug. 24, 2014, in Paramus, N.J.

    No reason to feel sorry for Jim Furyk

    The good news for Jim Furyk is that people finally stopped talking about his golf swing that only a mother could love and a father could teach.

  • Big Break Myrtle Beach cast set

    Six men including one of the youngest competitors in Big Break history and six women will compete to further their careers in the Golf Channel's series that will be contested in Myrtle Beach.

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category