KAPALUA, Hawaii (AP) — A mannequin new 12 months, and Harris English retains correct on rolling.
English achieved with a 10-foot birdie to cap off an outstanding Friday on the Sentry Match of Champions with a 6-under 67, giving him a two-shot lead over a quartet of gamers that picks defending champion Justin Thomas.
Even with a lead, it feels as if the primary PGA Tour occasion of the 12 months is massive open. With practically no wind, uncommon for the Plantation Course at Kapalua, scores remained low and pretty a few utterly utterly completely different gamers had been stacked up behind him. That picks Masters champion Dustin Johnson, who hit it shut ample all spherical to make only some putts in his spherical of 65.
“Felt like I acquired as rapidly as further all by way of the match considerably bit bit,” mentioned Johnson, collaborating in for the primary time since his Nov. 15 victory at Augusta Nationwide.
English is amongst 16 gamers on the winners-only occasion who did not win closing 12 months. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic that worn out three months on the tour schedule, anybody who reached the Tour Championship licensed this 12 months. English did the entire units nonetheless win, going from No. 369 on the earth to among the many many many many many prime 30.
And he takes half in need it. He was bogey-free and barely confronted any stress. It is laborious to primarily actually truly actually really feel that on the western fringe of Maui, and English was entertained by a pair of humpback whales splashing their fins all by way of the Pacific beneath the course.
He was at 14-under 132, two footage forward of Thomas, PGA champion Collin Morikawa (65), Daniel Berger (65) and Ryan Palmer (67), one utterly utterly completely different participant who did not win in 2020 and was completely completely satisfied to be proper right correct proper right here.
Thomas misplaced a few of his Aloha spirit on the as rapidly as further 9. He had a one-shot lead on the flip, missed a fast birdie chance on the par-Three 11th after which struggled to maintain up up it in play. A drive to the left all by way of the native grass saved him from an superior birdie utterly utterly completely different on the transient 12th. He hit one utterly utterly completely different one to the left into excessive grass on the 13th and made his first bogey.
Thomas furthermore did not convert potentialities on the subsequent 4 holes, and the 18th was wanting grim when he missed a protracted iron and obtained right correct proper right here up 40 yards transient, a dangerous spot with a entrance pin and the grain working laborious in route of the as rapidly as further. He clipped a sand wedge and it was about to go too far when it hit the pin and dropped Three ft away. He made that for his solely birdie on the as rapidly as further 9 and shot 69.
He was amongst 16 gamers separated by 4 footage going into the final phrase phrase two days.
Xander Schauffele holed an 80-foot eagle putt on the 18th for a 66 and was all by way of the group at 11-under 135 that included Patrick Reed, who had a 68. One utterly utterly completely different shot behind was the group that included Johnson, Jon Rahm (66) and U.S. Open champion Bryson DeChambeau (67).
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