Kirk seizes two-shot lead at US PGA Honda Classic
On Saturday, Chris Kirk hit six birdies in a four-under-par 66 to take a two-shot lead in the Honda Classic, where he is chasing his first US PGA Tour title in eight seasons.
Kirk scored 62 in the second round with a massive effort at the PGA Par 70 National Circuit in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, giving him a good opportunity to claim his fifth title, but his first since Colonial in 2015.
The 37-year-old American, who took a break from golf in 2019 to deal with depression and alcohol abuse, was two strokes ahead of 32-year-old Eric Cole, who posted his second consecutive record of 66.
Night tournament leader Justin Su scored 70 points with equal face value and was three shots behind the leader at 200 – one shot ahead of Irishman Shane Lowry and Englishman Ben Taylor.
“Toward the end of my round today, I hit a couple of really good racer kicks, especially on 18th,” said Kirk, who started day one with a lead and found success with a 16-foot birdie kick on fourth.
“I feel like tomorrow it will be important for me to go out and have a good ride.”
After a six-foot birdie in eighth and a 27-foot birdie in 11th, he held a three-shot lead in 12th short.
He landed another hit at 12 and then landed a fearsome 13, and a 16th-place ghost three-punch saw his lead cut short in front of the back-to-back birdies that ended his round.
On a par-3 on the 17th, Kirk rolled an 18-foot birdie, and on a par-5 on the 18th, he missed the green, got some relief from the cart track, and made it to six feet, calmly hitting a putt.”
Cole, a rookie on the tour with 50 wins as a pro on various mini-tours, had five birds in his four-under effort and was looking forward to a title challenge on the tour.
“It’s a big stage and all, but the golf ball doesn’t know the difference and I’m just going to try to keep playing the way I had the first three days and I think it should take care of itself.” , Cole said.
– Su eagle –
Sue’s round was marked with an eagle in 12th par-4, where he hit his second 153 yard fairway hit.
He had ghosts from the green bunkers in fourth and 13th and missed an inside four-foot birdie in 18th.
“Today the hole looked pretty small – I couldn’t make a single hit,” he said. “I hit at a good pace and just kept reading wrong.”
Lowry, who led at the end of last year but was one shot behind winner Sepp Straki, continued to compete with a five-under-par 65 that had seven birdies.
This included a chip-in in 11th from the collection area below the green, who made one jump and rolled into the cup, and the flag prevented him from rushing past.
“I was just trying to keep something within 10 feet for par,” Lowry said.