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Taylor Pendrith’s rib, Finau feasting and Young’s course record among five things we learned Friday at the Rocket Mortgage Classic

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DETROIT. In March, Taylor Pendrit broke his fifth rib on his left side while hitting a golf ball.

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“I noticed it in the Players during the third round, just some kind of back pain,” he said.

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He spent 12 weeks mostly sitting on the couch, watching the NHL playoffs and helping his wife decorate their new home. There is little you can do other than sit back and let your ribs heal.

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“I think it spurred me on to come back and play well,” Pendrit said.

This is exactly what the 31-year-old recruit from Canada is doing. In just his third start since the injury, Pendrit took the lead with 36 holes at the Rocket Mortgage Classic. He followed up his first round with a 64 birdie drink from the net. Birdie edged out his all-night co-leader Tony Finau on his first four holes, while Pendrit signed for 65 and a 36-hole tournament record of 15 to 129, one stroke ahead of Finau.

“If you can get it on the fairways here, you can attack,” said Pendrit, who finished T-13 and T-11 in his first two starts since the injury and is in contention for his first Tour title.

Rocket Mortgage Classic: PGA Tour Live on ESPN+ | Saturday game time

Finau is feasting again

Tony Finau teeing on the ninth par 3 hole of the second round of the Rocket Mortgage Classic golf tournament. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Finau continues to feast

Tony Finau is in the zone.

A week after winning the 3M Open, he was just one shot clear of the lead after posting a 6-under 66 without a ghost at the Detroit Golf Club on Friday. The last player to win the FedEx Cup in weeks of the regular season? Brandon Todd in 2019.

Finau hasn’t hit a ghost in 36 holes and has only hit two ghosts in his last 107 holes on the Tour. In this segment, he is stunningly gaining 32 points. How he does it?

“I kind of bring the fruits of my labor during this season, and at the end of the season they add up for me,” he said. “But this thing, this game taught me that when it comes to him, it doesn’t matter. If you keep working hard, at some point I think you’ll be able to stretch a little, and I think that’s what I’m seeing this week and last week.”

Oh to be young again

Cameron Young (center) shakes hands with Will Zalatoris (left) on the ninth lawn during the second round of the Rocket Mortgage Classic golf tournament. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

There are few hotter players on the planet than Cameron Young, who finished second at the British Open and tied for third at the PGA Championship, as well as four runners-up and two thirds in an impressive rookie campaign.

He cooled off a bit on Thursday, hitting 1 to 71 in windy weather, but on Friday he moved up the leaderboard with a tournament-best 9 to 63. That also matched the Detroit Golf Club’s 18-hole scoring record.

This included an eagle in the hole from 136 yards on a par-4 hole.

“I said I was going to hit him about four paces long, 140, and there were a few paces left,” Young explained of his fairway wedge. “So I missed quite a bit and went right into the hole.”

Young bragged to US Presidents Cup captain Davis Love III, who said he didn’t know Young until this week but definitely knows now after playing 36 holes with a promising pro.

Cameron is on trend. He went all the way,” Love said. “Obviously he should finish this weekend, but right now his game looks very solid.”

Tigala Beard Vibration

Sahit Tigala tees off the ninth par 3 hole in the second round of the Rocket Mortgage Classic golf tournament. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Sahita Tigala’s beard is back this week in Detroit.

The previous beard lasted three months, as he put it: “The last look of the beard was fine.”

But he didn’t play as well at the weekend at the British Open, so he decided it was time for a change and shaved it off.

It didn’t work. He missed the cut at the 3M Open, winning a streak of eight consecutive Tour payouts.

“I grow my beard as fast as possible,” he said.

Rookie Teegala opened from 4 to 68 in a windy Thursday, then went out early Friday and hit five birdies on six holes starting at #13 – he started at #10 – on his way to shooting 67 and improving to 9 below and a tie for seventh midway.

Perhaps Teegala, who has had several attempts to win his first Tour title, can win the RMC this weekend by a narrow margin.

Hoffman strip hanging by a thread

Charlie Hoffman tees the seventh hole during the first round of the Rocket Mortgage Classic golf tournament. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Charlie Hoffman is trying to make the FedEx Cup playoffs in 16 year in a row and remain among the proud few who do so every year.

“That’s a goal,” Hoffman said after hitting 69 at the Detroit Golf Club on Friday. “But I also understand that this game is getting younger and I am getting older and there will be a year where I will not survive. Hopefully not this year. I feel like I have a few more good years inside of me, but it will eventually come to an end.”

The streak ended for Phil Mickelson and Bubba Watson, who are ineligible since joining LIV Golf. It will take Brandt Snedeker a big week at the Wyndham Championship, the last regular season event, to stay in good shape. Adam Scott with 66 shots in the second round (T-7) and Matt Kuchar (MS) are safe. Hoffman, who has dealt with past problems this season, started the week at No. 177, but the T-13 is heading into the weekend and could catch up. Is he afraid of missing the playoffs?

“The answer is yes, but I don’t worry about it,” he said. “Some guys lose their card. I have several medical starts, I have a career exemption, I am not worried about losing my job. As I have said in the past, I want to start playing good golf again and I want to be healthy. And I’m starting to feel healthy, I’m starting to take the few shots I want, and the results are starting to reflect that. However, in short, I think about it, but I don’t worry about it.”



The story originally appeared on GolfWeek.


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