Golf

2023 Honda Classic leaderboard, scores: Chris Kirk takes slim lead into the final round at PGA National

Chris Kirk hasn’t won the PGA Tour since 2015. This long dry spell has a chance to end Sunday at the PGA National as Kirk advances to the final round of the 2023 Honda Classic with a two-stroke lead of 13 years. . Despite his failure to enter the winning circle in almost a decade, the 37-year-old is no stranger to being nervous in the final round of the PGA Tour.

Most recently, Kirk started the weekend at the 2023 Sony Open leading solo before losing it completely when the first shot of his third round went out of bounds. Playing in the penultimate group on Sunday, Kirk finished in T3 at the Waialae Country Club before taking a podium finish at The American Express again the following week.

He will look to right the wrongs of past tournaments in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida as his closest pursuers are PGA Tour rookies Eric Cole under 11 and Justin Su under 10.

These aren’t the only players Kirk will have to tire of as Shane Lowry goes into hiding at the age of 9. Four-birded on five holes numbered 9-13, Lowry’s third round of 5-65 put him back in the fight. He will be looking to avenge the last few holes he lost to Zepp Straka a year ago. Straka remains on the list at level 7 as he aims to successfully defend his first PGA Tour title.

Leader

1. Chris Kirk (-13)

Kirk was there at the end of the 2022 Honda Classic, albeit as a fan. Staying by to watch Straka put the finishing touches on his first PGA Tour triumph, Kirk is looking to lift the trophy this time around. Though it’s been eight years since his last PGA Tour victory, Kirk is only three years away from winning the Korn Ferry Tour and will try to do so in a row by winning the Georgia Bulldogs at the Honda Classic.

β€œWe stay together all the time. He usually buys us a house,” Straka said. β€œSo yes, I’ve gotten to know Chris really well over the past few years, one of my best friends, and yes, we spend a lot of time and he’s been a great golfer for a couple of years now. No wonder. for me, especially on this field… His performance on iron is impressive. He is one of the best railroad players I have played with. The bunker game is a small thing, but he is probably the best bunker player I have ever played with. Yes, when that stick gets hot too, he can keep making them. It definitely doesn’t have that much fear in it.”

Other contenders

2. Eric Cole (-11)

3. Justin Su (-10)

T4. Shane Lowry, Ben Taylor (-9)

T6. Byung Hoon An, Tyler Duncan (-8)

T8. Ben Martin, Sepp Straka, Cameron Percy, Bryce Garnett, Ryan Gerard (-7)

It was the roller coaster final round of the 2022 Honda Classic and Lowry was a player who experienced both ups and downs. A member of the latter group, Lowry erased Daniel Berger’s five-stroke lead in the same number of holes overnight and looked destined for his first U.S. soil title since 2015.

Ultimately, Straka ran himself, but Lowry still had a chance to win when he stepped on the tee on the 72nd hole. Running to the tee-box from the 17th green due to an oncoming downpour, the Irishman was out of sync with the closing hole and failed to pot a birdie to force a playoff.

“I just hope it doesn’t rain tomorrow,” Lowery said. β€œNo, look, this is a golf course, you don’t know what’s going to happen. You just need to hold on as long as possible. There aren’t many holes here where you can stand, and you don’t want to be complacent. but take it easy on them. Every hole is a little bit of a disaster hole, or many holes are a little bit of a disaster hole. You just have to be very careful and aggressive towards your targets and just go out there and give it your best, and if that’s enough, at the end of the day you hope to stand here with a trophy.”

Bhatia goes shirtless not once but twice

Everyone has a friend who loves to take his shirt off too much. On Saturday at the PGA National it was Akshay Bhatia. After hitting 17 of 18 greens in regulation time in Round 2, the 21-year-old struggled to find his rhythm with his shots and had to play the hazards not once, but twice.

The first was on par 6 when his tee shot found mud lining the water hazard to the left of the fairway. Able to make par, Bhatia was not so lucky nine holes later when his ball found a similar lie. It would have taken him two hits to get the ball back in play on par-3 15. This was followed by a double scarecrow, and with it Bhatia became another victim of a bear trap, albeit a slightly dirtier one.

“I’ve done this before, but not twice in a round,” Bhatia said. β€œYes, I feel disgusted, to say the least. Luckily, Presley, my girlfriend, brought me a change of clothes, but apparently it didn’t matter because I had changed – my new pants were covered in mud. an interesting thing, to say the least.”

2023 Honda Classic Updated Odds and Choices

Odds via bookmaker Caesars

  • Chris Kirk: 20/21
  • Eric Cole: 9/2
  • Shane Lowry: 13/2
  • Justin Such: 7-1
  • Ben Taylor: 16-1
  • Byung Hoon Ahn: 22-1
  • Tyler Duncan: 40-1
  • Sepp Straka: 60-1
  • Ben Martin: 80-1

Kirk feels solid as he leads the week in tee-to-green hits. In fact, his green play inspires even more confidence as he looks very comfortable with the speed of the putting surfaces for three rounds. If it wasn’t for Kirk, Taylor, 16-1, would have been worth watching. The 30-year-old athlete played in the final groups of the Houston Open and Sony Open and in both cases showed himself worthy.



Source: www.cbssports.com

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